Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Terrell Suggs not Ray Lewis more likely to get franchise tag in '09

Tag Ray Lewis in ‘09? Are you kidding me? Look I get that Ray is the face of the Ravens and I admire all of his accomplishments on the field and his leadership skills. But let’s face it – Ray is not the player he once was and he is not among the top 5 players at linebacker anymore. The franchise tag would pay Ray the average of the top 5 linebacker salaries. He should be happy to get that but we all know he wouldn’t be. He’d say something foolish like this:

“Football is just getting started for me. Some people try to lie to you and tell you as you get older that you decline. If you take care of yourself right, you never decline. Your decline only starts when you stop having the energy. My energy for it is more now than when I was a young kid."When you come back and your mind is completely free, then you want to play football every year. I don't build my body up for one season. What I did this offseason is build my body up for another three or four. Realistically after that, it's all situational.”

Realistically Ray is unrealistic.

Do yourself a favor and come to this realty – the NFL is a business and with Ray’s next round of negotiations it will be or already is a high stakes game of poker. The Ravens front office needs to play out their hand. Let Ray hit the open market. Chances are Steve Bisciotti is right. The Ravens will outbid everyone else and if they play the game right, the price will not be anywhere near the number Ray thinks it will be.

Ray hired a new agent and this new agent more than likely made promises to Ray about another big signing bonus. Well what else was this hired rainmaker supposed to say? He had to promise something, right? Here’s a safe bet – whatever Ray’s new handlers get for him going forward it will pale in comparison to what they likely promised. And then they too will be fired.

Next agent up?

Tagging Ray shouldn’t happen. Besides, the team might need that franchise tag for Terrell Suggs again next year although the argument could also be made that Suggs isn’t among the top 5 at his position either. Come to think of it, while Suggs is a very good player, he’s not a $30 million plus signing bonus player. No one asked me but I think Suggs is a bit overrated. If you want to be paid more than any other defender then you better be an impact player NOT dependent upon Trevor Pryce to eat up pass protectors so that you can get favorable one-on-one match ups. Did Reggie White need someone else to eat up two blockers to be effective? No Reggie took on the two blockers and was still effective.

Now you might say that no one even thinks that Suggs is Reggie White. Well you are wrong. His agent apparently does and if Gary Wichard wants Suggs to be the highest paid defender, logic would suggest that Suggs is the best defender.


He’s not the best defender. He’s probably not even the Ravens’ best defender. Reggie White was once all of that.

For years Peter Boulware took on double teams sometimes with his arm in a sling. Is Suggs any better than Boulware? Is he as good as Boulware? Can he impact the game like old No. 58?

I’ll admit that Suggs is probably a better all around linebacker than Boulware. He supports the run much more efficiently and scrapes down the line of scrimmage as well as any OLB in the league on runs to the opposite side of the line. He’s still young and probably has 7 or so seasons left in him. But if Suggs doesn’t get it done in ’08 should the Ravens cave in to a $30 million demand? And if he does get it done, will $30 million be enough?

I don’t think so…

The Ravens might find a $9 million franchise figure much more appealing than a $40 million noose.


Harryos29 said...

I'm from the VINCE LOMBARDI school.. I remember reading Jerry Kranmers book..INSTANT REPLAY..years ago..JIM RINGO the starting CTR...tried to Hold out for more money..VINCE traded him to the Eagles on the Spot..!! I know contracts are more complex these days..but Suggs has never impressed me...besides his Dancing SUCKS..
Harry O' a Big Mick Curtis Fan

Anonymous said...

Spot on.

Anonymous said...

Without arguing the relative value of an athlete in the current complex world of "salary caps", there is something to be said for players who bring more than just athleticism to the game. A case in point is the inimitable Ray Lewis, whose value to the Ravens goes beyond his football prowess as the "face" of the franchise since his arrival in Baltimore. Notwithstanding the "business" aspect of pro football, I'd like to see him retire as a Raven, but recognize the "cost" may be prohibitive. That being said, while Suggs doesn't fit into the same category, he's at the top of his game, while Lewis is nearing the end of his. So, my heart says keep both, while my head says, if "push comes to shove", Suggs offers more "upside" going forward, as a famous former Ravens coach used to say!

Anonymous said...

I'm probably in the minority here, but I believe Ray should be franchised, and Sizzle should be let go. Ray brings so much more to the table than Sizzle could ever hope to bring.

Harryos29 said...

7/23/09 Anonymous on being in the MINORITY...I think if the Majority of the people who read this site...took the 5 minutes to READ TONYs' Blog here...they would AGREE with you and me....
harry o 29 sykesville

Anonymous said...

You tag Sizzle and trade him if he complains about it. Let Ray test the market and pay the man what he is worth.

Both are keepers, and in my opinion top 5 at thier respective jobs. Ray has the bigger name, but not many teams would pay him more for that than we would, but someone would almost definitly snatch Suggs up by throwing a dumptruck full of cash at him.
1. He is 26 next year.
2. Has more sacks than Freeny and Peppers since Dwight got paid.
3. Never been hurt.

Ray is still the best middle linebacker in football. 2,8 ypc last year, and no 100 yard rushers since Larry Johnson broke off a 65 yard run but got less than that on his other 20 plus carries.
The list of running backs who have ever gained 100 yards while Ray was on the other side of the line is ridiculously short. He faced them all, and turned them back. Made Corey Dillon quit and Eddie George tremble. Knocked the Bus off his axis and bottled up Barry Sanders. Knocked the star off Emmits helmet, and was likley the only LB to keep LT out of the endzone and short of 100 yards in 2006 even though he got about 40 carries.