Ravens Could Lack Sizzle in 2014

Suggs v Giants

Terrell Suggs proved many wrong when he returned to the Ravens line-up in Week 7 of the 2012 season despite partially tearing his Achilles tendon. Most thought he would be lost for the season yet 6 months after suffering the injury he sacked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in his 2012 debut.

The seemingly early return was criticized by many and labeled too risky. So called medical experts thought the Ravens all-time sack leader might suffer further damage to his Achilles and miss even more significant playing time.

Fortunately for the Ravens and Suggs it didn’t go down that way. He finished the season relatively healthy save for an unrelated biceps injury.

He also finished as a World Champion, contributing a big performance in the Divisional Playoff against Denver (10 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 1 PD).

Despite the huge day at Mile High Suggs’ performance during the 2012 campaign was uneven, disappearing at times. Few questioned his rather pedestrian contributions preferring instead to marvel at his warrior mentality and willingness to put himself in harms way for the benefit of the team.

Now with an offseason to heal and to improve his conditioning, Suggs hopes to return to his 2011 form when he was the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Year.

And he may have to do exactly that to keep his job beyond 2013.

In 2014 Suggs’ cap number will rest at $12.4M. To release him would cost $4.6M in dead cap money BUT the Ravens would save $7.8M in salary and cap space.

What if Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw play well in 2013? What if rookie John Simon finds his way and plays the way the Ravens’ scouts anticipate? What if rookie Kapron Lewis-Moore is ready to step up in 2014? What if together those two 2013 rookies who combined, represent less than $1M in cap space, provide 80% of Suggs’ productivity?

Clearly $1M is less than 20% of the cap savings ($7.8M).

Wouldn’t Suggs be vulnerable to the 80/20-Rule (80% of the productivity for 20% of the price) and then be shown the door?

After all, it is a business, right?

This isn’t intended to put a heel on Suggs’ ample hind parts and push him out the door. The intent IS to point out that the big cap number and the potential cap savings suggest that Suggs must deliver in 2013.

Essentially he’s playing this coming season to preserve his current contract.

And hopefully that means he’ll be healthy and report in the kind of shape he was in during the summer of 2011.

Otherwise this summer could be Suggs’ last as a Baltimore Raven.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

34 Raves on “Ravens Could Lack Sizzle in 2014

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Suggs is in Arizona doing a diet and workout routine unlike anything he has ever done in his career. The beast that shows up at camp will be unlike anything you have ever seen out of him before. While you are correct with your analysis and numbers don’t lie……Suggs is preparing to be that 12.4 million dollar man, so don’t go selling your Suggs jersey just yet.

    • True on said:

      I love the way you talk, man. My dad said we’re going to be good for years to come, I said “Well, we might lose Suggs and Ngata.” he said “WHY?!” I said “Because they’re getting paid a LOT of money and they don’t produce that much for us anymore.” But after I thought about it…this is the one who had the potential to get 14-20 sacks per year but the Ravens told him to be an all around better player, so he did, then he got DPOY, then he got injured and came back, got injured again and stayed in the game. He’ll be worth MORE than his contract next year, man. Suggs is one B.A.

    • Lou on said:

      ^ ^ ^ PERFECT reply, Sizzle!! Now go kick ass and take names! Show the fans that your focus is on football, not movie making.

  2. Ebuhuel on said:

    he will have an excellent season where he and doom become the highest sacking duo in the leagie, at the end of the season suggs will rework his schedule and get an extension with a new signing bonus so he doesn’t cost as many cap as he would and will be a Raven for a few more years.

  3. Ravenette on said:

    Sugg’s will be much better this year. Even playing at 70% last season he was still a force to be reckoned with. This year he know’s that he will be taking over as the leader on defense. He was under Ray Lewis’s tutelage for what 10 yrs. He knows what is expected of him and he will do his best! I cannot wait to see our re-loaded defense and how these new gun’s will allow the vet’s to shine!!!! I wear my 55 with pride!!!!

  4. Tony on said:

    Lombardi, you’re dead wrong on this one! I can’t wait for Sizzle to come back and shut your controversial mouth up!

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      This isn’t controversy. It’s the business of football!

      As a fan I’d love for him to perform at a level that justifies his 2014 contract.

      • Nick on said:

        This isn’t controversial at all. I’ve thought the exact same thing. Actually, unless Suggs is really, really good this year (extension in that case), I’d want the Ravens to try to trade him for a 2nd-3rd round pick if possible.

        The one thing the Ravens don’t do well is trade veterans for good picks. The comp picks are nice, but sometimes there are offsets and it takes a lot to get the coveted 3rd rounder.

        Even a 4th is better than a compensatory 4th, since it will be higher and can be traded.

    • Bruce Almty on said:

      You must be one of the readers that neg’ed me earlier when I pointed out that Suggs is now the senior citizen on the Ravens roster that was drafted by the Ravens after the departure of Ray and Ed.
      He and Haloti are the next we’ll have to say goodbye to as their performance diminishes with age.

  5. Frank A on said:

    YOURE CLUELESS ABOUT FOOTBALL… WHAT ARE U THINKING? SUGGS GETS DROPPED BECAUSE OF SALARY? ARE U WELL MAN? HES THE ONLY GOOD THING WE HAVE LEFT ON OUR D AND IS STILL YOUNG TO PRODUCE HIGH NUMBER S FOR LIKE 4-5 YEARS MORE.

    im starting to think youre a steerlers fan.

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      LOL…yeah TL, you terrible towel-waver. Players in the NFL NEVER got dropped because of salary.

      /eye roll

  6. Frank A on said:

    NOW WE HAVE SMART ASS DEREK commenting… WHY WOULD U DROP SUGGS ?JUST BECAUSE OF SALARY? THATS LIKE DROPPING BRADY BCZ HE DIDNT THROW FOR 5000 YARDS… COME ON MAAAN.. WAKE UP.. BE REALISTIC… ABSOLUTELY NOOO WAY IN HELL WILL THEY EVER LET SUGGS GO

    • g money on said:

      dude, i don’t want suggs to be gone either, but these guys are exactly right. this is a business and we are going to have some big decisions to make after this season, we have some BIG cap numbers next year. He needs to perform at a high level again to stay around. If he doesnt, he will be cut. Believe that.

      • Middle River Terp on said:

        THe Ravens cut or fail to resign guys before they are totally used up, see Boldin, Aquan; Johnson, Jarrett; Thomas, Adalius etc. This would be strictly a money/business move, unless Sizzle was willing to take a serious reno.

  7. JayJay on said:

    Didn’t Boldin just get dropped because of salary? Some of you need to leave the emotion at the door and understand the business side of sports. If Suggs is back to his 2011 self then he may stay but if he’s anything like 2012 (injury or not) or even like 2009 then he won’t be worth the high cap #. Personally I’m betting on him being great again this year.

  8. Frank A on said:

    there is a difference between boldin(never posting a 1000 yard season) who barely shows up during the regular season and the REIGNING DPOY…

    you have to understand something…. PLAYERS LIKE SUGGS dont always come and go.. but boldin… he barely did anything the 3 years he was here… until the last playoff run.

    they will restructure his contract.. they need his leadership on the team…

    • g money on said:

      we will try to restructure, but if he is unwilling to we may not be able to do so. he wil be 31 this season and 32 next, i hope he isn’t gone, but in this salary cap era, we cannot keep everyone.

    • RJ on said:

      But see, I don’t think it’s totally fair to discuss Boldin in this context without mentioning teh Cam Cameron gameplan which barely saw any pass fly his way! Sure, Boldin had a few crucial drops, though no more than most other teammates (we all remember the one unforgivable drop he had a few years ago in the play-offs) but overall he caught those wonky Flacco passes, especially to the sideline, that NO ONE else could catch! More to my point, most of Cam-Cam’s gameplanning barely included Bouldin, who I’m sure would have had over 1,000 yds the last few seasons if we focused more on our passing game. Now, since we have a great running game, it’s a trade-off I can live with, but Cam-Cam LOVED to pass… he just couldn’t figure out the right plays to call for Bouldin!

  9. JayJay on said:

    He was DPOY in 2011 so he’s not reigning, and I guarantee the Ravens would never restructure a player over 30 @ the end of his contract…that’s what the Steelers do. Ozzie told you as much last year. Based on everything Ozzie has done the past few years, what’s really makes you think he’ll keep a 32 y/o, past his prime player with a $10mil + salary cap #? If he didn’t want to pay Ed, he’s def not paying Suggs. Now if Suggs lights it up this yr then it may all be a moot point but if he struggles…

  10. Voice of Reason on said:

    Give him 2013, but his contract was written so that it would be very hard to play out 2014. No shame in cutting him at that point.

  11. Tucker: M&T Sec 527 on said:

    Doesn’t the cap go up [potentially substantially] for 2014? If so, let’s wait until we come to that bridge before we jump off it. We’ve had some good signings and a solid draft. Can we just have some “Happy Happy Joy Joy” for the reigning Superbowl Champs for a bit? Nothing wrong w/ your speculation, but couldn’t we just as well speculate that Joe’s right arm will fall off in his sleep tonight…? Here’s hoping Suggs has a monster year in 2013!

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      The cap is projected to remain flat and therefore making the need to perform even greater for Suggs.

  12. Jalen Jenkins on said:

    So after one bad year where the entire defense was hobbled we’re gonna sit here and look past what a healthy Suggs and Ngata looked like in 2011? Everyone has to earn their spot, but with both healthy, worrying about 2014 is pointless.

  13. JerryB on said:

    Talk about controversial “posts”, this one provides much grist for the mill. But, true to your instincts and insights, Tony, it tells it like it is. The NFL is all about money and we’ve seen some pretty good ballplayers succumb to the “cap”, so nothing surprises anymore. That being said, it’s become one year at a time for the aging pros, so let’s hope Suggs returns to form this year and we’ll worry about 2014…..next year!

  14. ravensean509@gmail.com on said:

    The most interesting side note about suggs last year was that paul kruger pretty much did nothing until terrell made it back. Even though he had no real pass rush burst whatsoever (save the denver playoff game), those two things are, most likely, related.

  15. John on said:

    I agree Tony. Watch the SB and see how many times the runner ran right by him. I had a torn bicep and the doc told me it needed fixed but Suggs did not. I would not be surprised if he tears it early again

  16. Big C on said:

    My money is on Suggs coming into camp in bang-up shape, lean… mean and ready to make plays… He’s been here long enough to know he needs to do his thing… at least last until after 2014 when the salary cap kicks back up… plus he’ll also be up for restructuring anyway. Even if his production is tight, they’ll just guarantee more of his salary and drop his number, which is a reward for holding up your end…

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