Suggs, Ravens reach compromise

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens and franchise player Terrell Suggs reached an unprecedented compromise Tuesday, avoiding the need to arbitrate a grievance the outside linebacker had filed against the team. Suggs had been seeking to be paid the defensive end franchise designation of $8.879 million after being tagged with the one-year $8.065 million linebacker tag.

Now, Suggs will be paid a one-year tender worth nearly $8.5 million as a new designation was created as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker, according to his agent, Gary Wichard.

The development was prompted by a suggestion from Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome in order to jumpstart stalled negotiations.

The NFL Players Assocation and the NFL Management Council are still working out the final details of the new designation.

As an unsigned franchise player, Suggs hasn't been required to attend offseason minicamps. Although Suggs attended coach John Harbaugh's first minicamp practice as a gesture of good will, he wasn't allowed to practice due to league regulations regarding unsigned players.

The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year filed a grievance March 5, claiming that he played over half of his snaps at defensive end. Suggs has 45 career sacks and is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who slumped to a career-low five sacks last season while notching a career-high 80 tackles.

The next step for Suggs will be trying to negotiate a long-term contract extension, which has been on the Ravens' agenda since last spring.

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

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