OWINGS MILLS — At one point during a news conference Monday, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was asked how much Terrell Suggs’ contract extension helps Baltimore from a salary cap standpoint.
Newsome didn’t disclose the financial terms of the four-year extension. He simply smiled and said, “It helps.”
And it does — a lot. It reportedly creates around $5 million of additional cap space.
But the extension works out well for both Suggs and the Ravens.
“We’ve tried to put together a deal that’s a win-win for the player and for the organization,” Newsome said. “Whether he plays two or three more years, we have a mechanism to be able to deal with the salary cap that would make it friendly for us and friendly for Terrell.”
First and foremost, the new deal creates some much-needed room under the salary cap for Baltimore in the short-term.
Suggs was set to count $12.4 million against the salary cap in the final year of the extension he signed in 2009, and Newsome acknowledged in January that the Ravens could be forced to part ways with Suggs if they couldn’t find a way to lower that number.
Suggs’ restructured deal is reportedly worth $28 million over the next five years, but he will reportedly count just $7.8 million against the cap this year.
The additional room should help Baltimore as it attempts to retain impending free agents like tight end Dennis Pitta, left tackle Eugene Monroe, inside linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive lineman Arthur Jones.
The Ravens also avoid having to possibly part ways with one of their best players, one who led the team with 10 sacks in 2013.
“It’s one less thing to worry about,” Suggs said. “We can attack the offseason how we normally do. Suggs is on our team. Suggs is with us. … Another thing is we all knew we needed some salary cap space to bring some guys in so we can reload.”
But the deal is good for Suggs, too.
First of all, the contract ensures that the 31-year-old will continue his career with the team with which he has spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Suggs said. “I don’t have to worry about where I’ll be playing football next year and [doing] my training.”
Suggs also benefits financially.
Originally, he was going to make $7.8 million in base salary in 2014. He will now reportedly make $12 million.