Suggs open to ‘hometown discount’

Street Talk Suggs open to ‘hometown discount’

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OWINGS MILLS — Echoing the theme of Baltimore Ravens team owner Steve Bisciotti, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs outlined a potential scenario where he could remain in Baltimore as well as middle linebacker Ray Lewis and inside linebacker Bart Scott by granting team officials a "hometown discount" during impending negotiations.

Suggs’ remarks during an interview with Sirius NFL Radio repeated Bisciotti’s comments last week where he expressed hope that Lewis would consider re-signing by giving the Ravens a "hometown discount."

All three starters are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents when the free agent signing period launches Feb. 27.

"We really don’t want to play without one another because we’ve been playing together for so long," Suggs said. ".. Hopefully, we can all stay, definitely, on a hometown discount."

It’s possible that the Ravens could use the franchise tag again to retain Suggs, which would involve designating him with a one-year, $10.2 million salary in a 20 percent increase over his compensation last season.

Bisciotti said last week that he didn’t foresee the Ravens using the franchise tag on Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year whose seven-year, $50 million contract has expired.

Suggs expressed optimism that he would stick with the Ravens even if he’s allowed to test free agency.

"Not at the cost of leaving Baltimore," Suggs said of his plans. "If they treat me fair, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I have all the faith in the world that they’ll do that. I think they’ll address all three of us with what they see as fair. I think if all three of us can come in the middle and form an agreement, then we shouldn’t have a problem."

Recalling how former Pro Bowl outside linebacker Adalius Thomas signed with the New England Patriots a few seasons ago in what amounted to an either-or proposition for general manager Ozzie Newsome in terms of retaining Suggs last year or keeping Thomas in 2006, Suggs is optimistic things will be different this time.

"We’ve already seen one of our other brothers [Thomas] walk," Suggs said. "We really don’t want to see too many more of us walk away from the city of Baltimore."

Scott is regarded as the biggest long shot among the trio of linebackers to stay even though the coaching staff has told him they would like him to return. He’s a potential target for New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, the Ravens’ former defensive coordinator.

Plus, the Ravens have other unrestricted free agents to haggle with, including center Jason Brown, strong safety Jim Leonhard and kicker Matt Stover.

When he was clearing out his locker following the Ravens’ 23-14 AFC title game loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Scott said that he wanted to take his time before pondering his future.

"After I step out of this room, I won’t think about football," Scott said. "I’ll think about being with my family, playing with my kids, taking my son to school, and playing with my daughter."

NOTES: Ravens director of pro personnel George Kokinis was formally hired Sunday night as the Cleveland Browns’ new general manager. His hiring is expected to lead to promotions for director of college scouting Eric DeCosta and assistant director of pro personnel Vince Newsome. … Suggs revealed that his damaged right shoulder won’t need surgery despite playing at his estimation of 35 to 40 percent against the Steelers. "All I got to do is work and get it back healthy so I can train this offseason," Suggs said. … The Ravens’ scouts spent a lot of time at the Senior Bowl evaluating and talking with wide receiver prospects, including Penn State’s Derrick Williams and Cal-Poly’s Ramses Barden, a 6-foot-6, 228-pound small-school standout.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About 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 Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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