Monday, July 16, 2007

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER SUGGS WILL BE A RAVEN IN '08


The Terrell Suggs contract extension negotiations should be very interesting for all parties involved.

First there’s Suggs himself who is seemingly carefree regarding the subject and more concerned about how he can improve his coverage skills and how he can help the Baltimore Ravens advance beyond the first round of the playoffs.

“[The new contract is] not something that’s on my to-do list. I’m not worried about it. I’m not going to play softer because I’m trying to get a contract. You know how we’re aggressive on this defense. If you don’t bring that, you lose everything about yourself.”

We’ll see if those are just words or if Suggs will cut corners until an extension has been completed. A significant injury could jeopardize even more significant dollars. A peek at Dwight Freeney’s new deal could influence Suggs’ aggressiveness or lack thereof on Sundays.

And speaking of Freeney’s new deal, there’s the master behind that plan, agent Gary Wichard who just happens to be not only Freeney’s agent, but Suggs’ too.

Our own Mark Considine recently compared Freeney to Suggs and another high profile defender who will soon be up for an extension, Julius Peppers. Their respective statistics are remarkably similar but given Suggs’ relative youth Wichard might argue (and with good reason) that Suggs’ growing versatility and age suggest that he’s at least as deserving as Freeney. Wichard might also point out that the Ravens’ stout defense has some aging parts that won’t be around much longer and Suggs’ presence could sustain the solid defensive nucleus that has been a staple of Ravens football.

One of those aging parts and clearly the epicenter of that defensive nucleus has been and continues to be Ray Lewis. Lewis finished 2006 strong and claims to be in his best shape ever but the Ravens perennial Pro Bowler hasn’t played a full season since 2003. Lewis’ contract is up for renewal after the 2008 season and it will be interesting to see how he responds to a record busting contract for Suggs.

Ozzie Newsome will also obviously be front and center and one has to wonder how the departure of Adalius Thomas places additional pressure upon Newsome to get a new deal with Suggs done perhaps even before the season starts. The loss of AD and Suggs could send the Ravens’ faithful into a vengeful frenzy.

When all is said and done Suggs will be a Raven in 2008. He wants to be here, the Ravens want him here and Suggs’ agent Gary Wichard is motivated to make that happen sooner than later. The personal stakes for him are too high particularly in the event of injury.

And if things don’t go well with Wichard, the Ravens will likely do or at least threaten to do something that they prefer not to do – use the franchise tag.

Suggs is a core player and the team can’t afford to let him go.

When the Ravens target one of their own, they usually get their man.

Suggs will be no different.

1 comments :

Need Some Sizzle said...

If Suggs doesn't sign, he'll get slapped and I'm not talkin' female dogs. TAG, he'll be it! 55 will be a Raven at least the next two seasons.