Suggs files grievance against Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Terrell Suggs took action in his dispute with the Baltimore Ravens over whether he should be classified as a defensive end or a linebacker as his agent filed a grievance against the team through the NFL Players' Association.

Suggs is pursuing an additional $814,000 that the $8.879 million defensive end franchise tag carries following the Ravens designating Suggs with the $8.065 million franchise tag for linebackers, the average of the top five linebacker salaries in the league.

An arbitration hearing before an NFL special master hasn't been scheduled to resolve the dispute.

Suggs is arguing that he played more than 50 percent of his snaps at defensive end last year. When the Ravens used the tag on Suggs on Feb. 19, general manager Ozzie Newsome countered that argument.

"Well, in our defense, Terrell has always been an outside linebacker, was drafted as an outside linebacker and that's why he was designated as such," Newsome said.

Newsome added that Suggs was twice named to the Pro Bowl as a linebacker and plays linebacker in the team's base defense. Suggs is known as a hybrid pass rusher who alternates between a two-point stance where he stands up and a three-point stance with his hand on the ground.

Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, didn't return telephone calls and e-mails.

The Ravens still want to sign Suggs to a long-term contract extension, but negotiations are on hold until his franchise designation is determined by an arbitrator.

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

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