Terrell Suggs expected to skip Ravens’ training camp

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WESTMINSTER — Although the Baltimore Ravens accomplished their goal of signing every rookie on time, it will be a much harder task to convince outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to show up for training camp.

The Ravens’ franchise player hasn’t signed his $8.472 million tender and is contemplating skipping the entire camp and showing up prior to the regular-season opener Sept. 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

As an unsigned franchise player, Suggs isn’t technically a holdout and has the right to skip camp without any financial penalties. The Ravens have been through this scenario before with cornerback Chris McAlister years ago, and seem to be bracing for Suggs’ absence.

When general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked about the two-time Pro Bowl selection during a press conference to announce rookie quarterback Joe Flacco signing his $30 million deal, he declined to discuss Suggs’ status.

"We’re only talking about Joe and the draft choices today," Newsome said.

Suggs could opt to report following the Ravens’ preseason finale Aug. 28 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Suggs’ agent, Gary Wichard, has a history of orchestrating lengthy holdouts and a reputation in NFL circles for driving a hard bargain. He didn’t return telephone calls.

The Ravens were unable to sign Suggs to a long-term deal despite making a lucrative offer prior to an NFL deadline last week for franchise players. During the offseason, the two sides compromised on whether he should be designated as a defensive end or a linebacker and created a new hybrid tag.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal on Suggs.

"I don’t know yet," Harbaugh said. "We’re going to find out. His situation is a little bit unique, and he’s got to do what’s best for him going forward right now."

Meanwhile, the Ravens struck a four-year deal with second-round running back Ray Rice that exceeds the $3.084 million contract signed by last year’s No. 55 overall pick, cornerback Josh Wilson, that included $1.42 million in guaranteed money.

Plus, Baltimore signed third-round safety Tom Zbikowski to a three-year, $1.66 million deal that includes a $516,000 signing bonus.

"It’s a very fair deal for the player and the club," agent Ralph Cindrich said. "Tom is excited to get to camp on time."

The Ravens also signed sixth-round safety Haruki Nakamura to a three-year, $1.2 million deal that includes a $53,000 signing bonus.

Seventh-round wide receiver Justin Harper and seventh-round running back Allen Patrick signed three-year deals with base salaries of $295,000 in 2008, $385,000 in 2009 and $470,000 in 2010.

"Joe’s probably the tip of the spear on that, the point, that got it going," Harbaugh said. "All the other guys wanted to be here, too."

NOTES: Wide receiver Demetrius Williams’ lower left leg is in a brace and he may miss the first few days of practice. Tight end Daniel Wilcox (toe) is another candidate for the physically unable to perform list. Harbaugh declined to specify who will be placed on the list … Although several veterans on injured reserve last year — Wilcox, defensive end Trevor Pryce, running back P.J. Daniels and linebackers Prescott Burgess and Dan Cody – reported to camp early voluntarily, they are all believed to be healthy and were encouraged to show up early as a precautionary measure. … Offensive tackle Jared Gaither showed up early for camp. … Nakamura was the first player to check in at just before 9 a.m.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital
 
Photo by Sabina Moran
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About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best...more

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