No deal for Ravens' Suggs

OWINGS MILLS -- Following a last-minute round of negotiations with outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Baltimore Ravens were unable to sign the two-time Pro Bowl selection to a new contract prior to an NFL deadline. Team officials and Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, traded contract proposals over the past two days regarding a long-term extension

. Under league guidelines regarding franchise players, NFL teams had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to reach new deals or be forced to wait until after the season.

Now, Suggs is slated to play this season under a hybrid defensive end-linebacker franchise tag, a new $8.5 million salary designation after a compromise between the two sides.

The Ravens have been in discussions off and on with Suggs since April of last year.

Suggs has yet to sign his franchise tender and isn't allowed to practice until he does.

General manager Ozzie Newsome has reiterated several times that he considers Suggs to be one of the team's core players, and the Ravens will try to sign him to a deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March. The Ravens also have the option of designating him as their franchise player again, which entails a 20 percent increase over this year's salary.

"He is one of our best players, and our history of re-signing our best players is very good," Newsome said when the team tagged Suggs, citing the team's record of retaining such players as Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Todd Heap and Jonathan Ogden.

A former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year drafted 10th overall in 2003 out of Arizona State, Suggs has 45 sacks in five seasons, including a career-low five last year, while registering a career-high 80 tackles.

NOTE: The agent for first-round draft pick Joe Flacco arrived in Baltimore to try to finalize the quarterback's rookie contract. This marks the fifth meeting between agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty.

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


Ravens Insider Top Stories