Suggs’ Future With Ravens in Jeopardy

Suggs profile

Terrell Suggs reported to camp this summer in the best shape we’ve ever seen from the 6-time Pro Bowler, former Defensive Rookie of the Year (2003) and the former Defensive Player of the Year (2011). Early on his attention to nutritional detail and the extra hours in the weight room and with cardiovascular training paid big dividends on the field.

Through 8 games Suggs had 60 combined tackles and 9 sacks. In his DPOY campaign he had 70 combined tackles and 14 sacks during the entire season. And though he wasn’t forcing turnovers like he did in 2011 (7 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions) had he continued at his 2013 first half pace , another DPOY award was definitely a possibility.

Unfortunately for Suggs and the Ravens the sizzle ended by mid-season, the dividends stop rolling in, replaced instead by a gathering roll in Suggs’ mid-section.

His second half production fell markedly as the pounds picked up. Suggs looked slow and far too many times he disappeared in games. Even his dependability as an edge setter in the run defense weakened.

The leadership that Suggs was expected to provide vanished just like his presence on the field. Perhaps the swagger and confidence just weren’t there and the motivation to lead simply faded.

Here was a player, playing to save his contract (scheduled $7.8M salary in 2014) who suddenly lost his mojo and produced just 20 combined tackles and 1 sack (a gift from Tom Brady who fell down) over the course of the season’s second half.

What happened?

Earlier this season there were reports that Suggs’ wife was showing up at team headquarters unannounced and given the volatility of that relationship it would be no surprise if an unsettled home life and crazy rumors played a part in Suggs’ precipitous decline. Such distractions could derail anyone’s focus at work.

More importantly for the Ravens, they’ll need to decide if the $7.8M cap savings (and real salary savings) they would gain by releasing Suggs can be better spent elsewhere. Clearly the team has a multitude of roster blemishes to address.

Important questions must be debated at The Castle.

Can a player who will be 32 early in the 2014 season and can’t commit to remaining fit play to the level of a $12.4M cap number?

Will the Ravens get the 2013 Suggs from the first half or the second in 2014?

Is he motivated enough to be that impact player again?

The Ravens proved last offseason that they are willing to make difficult cap decisions when they traded a player (Anquan Boldin) who they believed wasn’t worth his $6M salary DESPITE his huge contributions during a Super Bowl run.

If Boldin wasn’t worth the $6M how can they justify $7.8M for a sizzle-less Suggs?

The bet here is that Ozzie Newsome will ask Suggs to take a pay cut and should he refuse then another difficult decision will be made. The founder of Ball So Hard University will no longer wear a Ravens uniform.

That’s the business of the NFL.

What should the Ravens do with Terrell Suggs?
Honor the final year of his contract and pay him $7.8M in 2014 (16%)
Force him to take a pay cut (22%)
Structure an extension to reduce the 2014 cap number (44%)
Release him and use the cap savings to improve in other areas (18%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and 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

37 Raves on “Suggs’ Future With Ravens in Jeopardy

  1. Jose Azcue on said:

    Why do we always here about these “spare tires” at the end of the season? I never heard one mention of this or Ray Rice showing up out of shape. Nobody noticed this during the course of the season?

  2. Nathaniel on said:

    I think if Suggs can find a way to regain the trust of the fans/players/staff in this off-season… offer a restructure/paycut for 3 years. He has proven ability.

  3. -joe d on said:

    Ravens should release him instead of bringing him back for one more uninspired performance. The money could be used to upgrade the center position and hopefully towards signing Monroe to a contract extension.

  4. April on said:

    I love this player I do not wanted him to go forever he is my favorite player in the week I wanted him to stay even Ray Rice two Oh Come on let the players stay

  5. TheChuck on said:

    I would cut him lose. I am sure that even if he took a paycut, letting him go would still make sense under the 80/20 rule.

    Signing him to this contract ended up being a bust, I feel. What makes it even more of a bust is that he was performing horribly when he signed it.

    • marcus on said:

      He wasn’t performing horribly, I don’t know where you got that from. He did have a bad year after he signed it in 2009 but then he followed up with two great years, one of which he won DPOY, and came back from an Achilles injury during the Super Bowl year. He didn’t put up stats that year but the pass rush improved substantially when he returned. His 2nd half this year was awful but to call him a bust is ridiculous.

  6. RJ on said:

    Sorry, but Suggs either has to agree to a pay-cut, or hit the road. When he’s healthy and motivated, there isn’t a more dangerous man on the field, but as this season showed us, those factors only go so far. More then anyone else (including that wet-blanket Flacco), Suggs was expected to set up and take the reins from Ray Lewis, especially when it came to leadership and motivation. Between everything the article mentioned and the “rumors” about his poor relationship with Elivis Dummervil, I can’t see Suggs doing what needs to be done to “earn” the rest of his contract or remain a Raven. Please do not get me wrong, since I truly do like Suggs and have been absolutely grateful for everything he has done for my team, but just like my all-time favorite player (both on the Ravens and in the NFL) Ed Reed, there is no question that it is time for him to go (though in Ed’s case it was because physcally, he has nothing left). Unless we get monster commitments and reassurances from Suggs that he will do better next year (in the form of contract stipulations and such), then there is simply no reason for him to return with all the money at stake. Throw in (or “out”, as it were) Michael Oher and Ed Dickson (plus anyone else who contributed squat this season) and you suddenly have enough cap room to go out and aquire some proven talent before the draft!

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Just to clarify, the article doesn’t say anything about a rift between Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. In fact I’ve been told by an extremely reliable source that those rumors are “fairly ridiculous.”

  7. marcus on said:

    He had an incredible first half of the year and a miserable second half. Suggs has always been one of my favorite players and even I’m conflicted about what should happen. His cap number is simply too high for a 31-year old LB whose best years maybe behind him. That being said, there certainly isn’t anybody on the team right now who could replace him and I imagine they’re going to be pretty focused on the offensive side of the ball this offseason. I think it will come down to taking a pay cut or get released.

  8. FL Raven on said:

    I don’t think he’s worth the money nor do I think we can afford him and extensions are bad business and catch up with you in the end. I think the bigger question is how do you “not” get any production out of two All Pro outside linebackers during the last half of the season? Is it the D-Coordinator, the LB Coach, the d-scheme, the players or all of the above? The issue with the pass rush before this year was double teaming Suggs that limited his production. We were told and it made perfect sense that with Dumervill that couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t happen as teams couldn’t double team both, right? So whaaaaaat happened???

  9. akacrow on said:

    Cut T-Sizzle? Wouldn’t the more prudent move be to trade T-sizzle? Taking into Consideration there is a market for such a transaction.

  10. Rxdoxx on said:

    I’d vote to trade him
    that would save the 7.8 and get possibly a third or 4th rounder
    (we did trade Boldin)
    Suggs would get his 7.8 and his new team would get a motivated player for another first half of the season :D

  11. Denis on said:

    As a Steeler fan….Suggs is one of the only dudes i like on the Ravens….how about a trade? Suggs for Woodley. But he has to leave his wife in Bmore! Lol

  12. Eric on said:

    What was once a staple in this organization (drafting unlike any other NFL Team and building or re-building a team) is no longer the case. The Ravens need to go back to what made them a perennial contender,…. draft smart, develop rookies into starters and contend. In recent years, they don’t even look like the same organization. If they had signed Flacco to a new contract when they could have and should have, they wouldn’t have had to make the ridiculous contract offer to him that they did. This is a management problem and it needs to be corrected QUICKLY ! ! !

  13. JerryB on said:

    Hard to evaluate some of the talent on this team because most of them had off years. It seemed like just as the “D” was hitting it’s stride at midseason, the strategy changed from pressuring the passer to trying to defending the pass on the back end and it failed miserably! Even Harbaugh lamented the change in his press conference, so maybe Pees will be replaced by someone with a more aggressive philosophy! It’s axiomatic that the less you pressure the QB, the more you pressure the secondary. Given all the restrictive pass coverage rules, that’s a recipe for disaster……….

    • Anonymous on said:

      I agree that the front office has had a poor run. However, it seems that the Ravens WON a Super Bowl with Flacco. The front office poor performance should not be narrowed down to the handling of Flacco’s contract. Poor and average draft picks over the last 3 years have left the team lacking in “young talent”. They drafted last year in anticipation of losing Birk…. and picked the worst center (according to the expert line ratings) with Gradkowski. The trading back to draft Sergio Kindle. Bringing in players like AQ Shipley, Micheal Huff, Marcus Spears, an injury prone Bernard Pierce, Terrance Cody, Jusschzk? (#40 dammit) , having 5 safties on the roster and starting 2 SS?. I can go on ad infinitum with the slew of gaffes the front office has made in the past 3-4 years. Granted Ozzie is a great GM but the problems are many and its not JUST Flacco’s contract. The bad decisons far outweigh the good the past few years

  14. RavensFan on said:

    I agree with Ian, but I do believe Flacco should be the only one receiving a paycut. How do you expect a defense to perform when they are on the field for 70% of the game and Suggs is a Veteran and has not given up on the Ravens at all, he has stuck by their side when the defense was the only reason we were winning games back in the day when our offense was an utter disgrace. No offense he had a decent first half, but a bad second half that doesn’t compensate for how well he has done over the past seasons I mean damn a few years back he was defensive player of the year I VOTE STAY ALL DAY!!!! I would much rather someone who has been mediocre every year during the regular season such as Flacco get a pay cut because only elite and franchise QBs can adapt to the talent they have to work with, the receivers we had the past few years made Flacco look good and saved his butt numerous times and now that he has young receivers he is Flaky and inconsistent Joe like he has been the past few years. Also, I think we bring Ray outta retirement and give him all the money haha or give him the job as defensive coach that would sure spark a fire under the Ravens!!!

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      For the record the Ravens ranked 19th in time of possession in 2013, possessing the ball on average 29:33 per game.

  15. Big C the Guru on said:

    That’s what happens when you marry a stripper… These guy come and couldn’t get a date in college for anything, then they get in the league and throw all their money at these straight tramps. First of all, she isn’t that hot. She’s light-skinned and skinny, that’s it… Sucks that who he decided to make a home with….

  16. axion101 on said:

    Suggs is worth the money. The issue with the Ravens is with the decision makers. If the locker room isn’t cohesive, the game will suffer…. and it has.

  17. Sandy on said:

    Well we see where letting “good” players got us this year…so there are some players they need to look at carefully before letting them go…seems like it takes awhile for teams to jell , so a bunch of new ones will take years to get going again…but hey I’m only a fan…still appreciate what Suggs did…

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