“There’s a difference between restructuring and offering guys extensions,” Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said at the team’s annual “State of the Ravens” address on Wednesday regarding the Ravens’ salary cap issues.
“I think we’ll continue with our theme of not restructuring contracts,” Newsome said. “We have guys that are in the last year of their contract or heading into the last year of their contract, and we’ve had a history of being able to get good deals done with guys heading into that last year. I don’t think we will embark on doing any more restructuring, but we will probably end up doing some extensions.”
One player that is certainly a candidate for an extension is linebacker Terrell Suggs. While the Ravens remained non-committal about what their plans regarding Suggs are at this time, Newsome acknowledged that the conversations have begun.
“Well, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Suggs every day,” Ozzie said, smiling. “That’s a decision that we’ll talk about.”
The Ravens are faced with a sticky situation when it comes to Suggs for the 2014 season. It was almost as if the team used the press conference to basically say to Suggs, “we aren’t afraid to cut anyone, including you.”
Newsome reaffirmed his position on releasing players if they fail to reach a contract extension with a pay reduction.
“Terrell is a real good football player. He not only shows up in the pass game, but he shows up in the run game,” Newsome said.
“But with that being said, we let a good football player go last year. So I’m not afraid when it comes to letting guys walk out the door. What we’ll do is we’ll look at every aspect of it and see what’s best for the 2014 and ’15 and ’16 Ravens and make that decision.”
Suggs may want to take a look around the locker room and notice that Anquan Boldin isn’t there anymore and that’s exactly why – because he refused to take a pay cut. The Ravens brass are not afraid to pull the trigger when it comes to those types of decisions.
Sizzle started strong in 2013 and looked as if he was well on his way to another defensive MVP-type season, recording nine sacks in eight games before falling off in the second half of the season. Suggs finished 2013 with a team-high 10 sacks and recorded 80 total tackles.
So what is the value of a player who is 31 years old, and should the Ravens move on from Suggs if they fail to reach an agreement?
Earlier this month the Russell Street Reports own salary cap wizard salary Brian McFarland had this to say regarding Suggs and his contract situation:
A contract extension would likely keep Suggs a Raven for the rest of his career and lower his 2013 Cap number of $12.4M by a good $3-5M.
Releasing Suggs would create an immediate $7.8M in Salary Cap space and would go a long way toward creating an abundance of Cap space to address other issues.
A healthy, motivated Suggs is a no-brainer and well worth the extension for sure, but if the second half of the season is any indication of the direction the six-time Pro Bowler is heading, then by all means free up the money and move on.
The team certainly has holes that could be filled with the cap savings.
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