Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ravens overpaid for better recognize!

It’s always interesting when a player signs a big contract, particularly one that is a record deal for a given position. Some fans will express joy over locking up the player, others will fret the signing and complain that the modern day athlete makes too much and no one is worth that kind of money.

Does it matter really?

Contracts and those negotiating them measure market value and the going rate for a player of Terrell Suggs’ caliber is pretty much what he was paid.

Critics will point to his drop off in sack production over the last few years. Suggs has failed to reach a double digit sack total for four consecutive seasons. Yet his overall production has picked up. Detractors might agree on the improved overall play but argue that Suggs doesn’t impact a game like Jared Allen or Dwight Freeney and therefore doesn’t deserve the kind of money they are paid.

But is that a fair comparison?

Freeney is pretty much a sack specialist and a liability against the run. He is aided by the fact that his offense is often playing with a big lead forcing opponents to the air. Freeney can then tee off. That said Freeney over the last 3 seasons has produced only 19.5 sacks. Suggs has 22.5. Freeney has 78 tackles over that same period while Suggs has 212.

Suggs is 26, Allen 27 and Freeney 29.

Which player made a bigger impact?

Jared Allen has been a nightmare for QB’s taking down signal callers 37.5 times over the last 3 seasons with 161 total tackles.

Suggs has been much more productive from ’06-’08 in pass defense than Freeney with a 2-0 edge in interceptions and a 22-2 edge in passes defended. Allen has 1 interception over that same period and he’s defended 23 passes.

If Freeney was worth his $30 million, Suggs is clearly worth his $32-33 million in guaranteed money. Depending upon your style of defense, Suggs and Allen are close but it’s hard to argue with those who might favor Allen as the more disruptive player and therefore a bit more deserving of his $31 million than Suggs is his newly acquired riches.

Then again Suggs didn’t cost the first round pick and two third round picks that the Vikings gave up for Allen.

The Ravens also don’t have to worry about Suggs off the field.

Allen has had one four game suspension for substance abuse.

If Freeney and Allen are your measuring sticks and you consider their deals to be market value, then it’s hard to argue with the price that Steve Bisciotti paid to lock up Suggs in Baltimore for the next six seasons.


Anonymous said...

Interesting comments, Tony, since you've stated repeatedly in the past that in your opinion Suggs is NOT an elite player, and should not be paid as such.

Tony Lombardi said...

I think if you stop and think about it, this blog speaks to the Suggs signing relative to the contracts of Freeney and Allen.

If you buy into those contracts, then you can't really criticize Suggs'.

Or maybe you can are pretty good at criticizing the opinions and decisions of others without ever offering anything of your own.

Jerry B said...

By working "stiff" standards, all professional athletes are way overpaid, but such is life in the real world of professional sports. It's one thing to pay all that money for a "proven" quantity like Suggs, but how 'bout teams like the Jets who back up the Brinks truck for an as yet tested rookie QB?! It's all nuts, but, hey, it'! All together now...."Are you ready for some football"?!

John from Canton said...

TL, I do recall you saying that Suggs wasn't elite but I don't think that's your point here. If the Ravens wanted to keep Suggs they had to dish out those dollars. That unfortunately is market value. So relatively speaking the contract seems fair. I hope he matures into an elite player but I would agree with your original assertion that at this point he is NOT elite.

Ben said...

Suggs is elite. Remember he posted his highest sack totals when he was in the TRADITIONAL 3-4 under Mike Nolan (his first two years in the league)when all he was suppose to do was put his hand in the dirt and run. Under Ryan his numbers dropped off as the schemes became more exotic and the blitzes called different numbers to get to the QB. We have no idea what Suggs was asked to do on certain plays but we do know that for a DE they generally are suppose to rush the QB or contain the edge. So to say he's not elite because he hasn't put up Freeney or Allen numbers is absurd. He also doesn't have as many Interceptions as Ed Reed is he not elite because of that? When you get down to it this is a team game and Suggs gives us a much better pass rush than anyone else on that field and more versatility to do what we need in order to be successful. In that case he is an elite player one who can't be replaced in a year.

Anonymous said...

I never offer anything of my own? LOL. You're full of it, Tony.

Anonymous said...

To expand a bit upon my previous post...what I offer are the opinions of a fan who believes that INTELLIGENCE is more importan than blind faith when it comes to following a sports team. I have consistently called you out for your "flip flops", going back to your schizophrenic takes on Brian Bilick (i.e. He's arrogant; no, he's not arrogant, he's just misunderstood).

This is just your latest flip flop -- Suggs isn't an elite player and should't be paid as one/no, he got a fair deal. The fact that you don't like being called out when you should be called out is your problem; it has nothing to do with me never "offering anything" on my own. I maintain -- and will continue to maintain -- that being a "real" fan has more to do with honestly calling out lousy decsions by the owner/FO, poor play by highly paid athletes, and/or inconsistent/shoddy "reporting" by reporters like Preston, or wanna be reporters such as yourself.

At the same time, I've clearly supported your views that I think are well thought out and not just your latest knee-jerk reactions. The same with the team -- when they step up and make good decisions, I clearly acknowledge all of that. What I refuse to do is play Emperor's New Clothes when they blow it, like they have with moves like McGahee (I wanted Jones or Turner BEFORE it was clear that they were winners and McGahee was a loser), Figurs (they could have had Johnnie Lee Higgins or Trent Edwards, and I said it at the time, not afterwards), playing McNair when it was obvious he was incapable of playing at a high NFL level (while Billick was yammering on about how he played "Very, very well"), etc.

Whether you can face it or not, stupid decisions have cost this team potential championships over the past decade. Yeah...they won one superbowl, and are better than schlub teams like Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, etc. And if you're satisfied with how things have gone these past ten years, good for you. I'm not. And I will continue to voice my opposition to things that keep this team down. And overpaying some players while letting other areas of the team languish is one of the biggest problems with this team. Suggs just got a contract equivalent with what Cassel got -- in fact, it was more than what Cassel got. And so it goes with the Ravens. Defense-heavy at the expense of a competitive offense. They have NOTHING now at WR except hope. Good luck with that.

My suggestion to you Tony -- grow a pair. If the kitchen's too hot for you...go take a dump. That's how some of your posts and reactions come across sometimes anyway.

Tony Lombardi said...

Nice to see I have such a dedicated fan there Anon. I have to laugh at the irony of your post's conclusion:

"My suggestion to you Tony -- grow a pair. If the kitchen's too hot for you...go take a dump. That's how some of your posts and reactions come across sometimes anyway."

Grow a pair? Too funny coming from someone who posts here as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Same ol, same ol Tony. Anonymous or not -- I continue to lay it out consistently, while you hide behind your little non-issue rebuffs. Maybe it's just impossible for you to really grow a pair and tell it like it really is. I feel sorry for Mrs. Lombardi.

Donnie B said...

It's funny how all the amateur GMs can claim to understand or feel they are qualified to argue with what the Ravens decide to do. We have about 1/100th the amount of football knowledge that the Ravens coaches/front-office possess and for us to openly criticize these kinds of decisions that the Ravens make (given their track record of success relative to other teams in the league over the past ten years) smacks of arrogance of the worst.

We are fortunate enough to have a team here that can compete to win most seasons, has a great stadium, lots of name players, a good coaching staff and a front-office that has done well and been blessed with continuity for the most part. Our players, over the past five years, have not been arrested or embarrassed anyone, contrary to most teams in the league.

We are a young team with a young QB, a potential stud LT, and a young nucleus of talented OL and a defensive line with two of the best in the league at their respective spots in Suggs and Ngata. i think the glass is 3/4 full....

a little positivity is good.....

Anonymous said...

tony and anon---
get a room.......

The Shadow said...

While Anon professes to believe in intelligence, his spelling leaves much to be desired. But hey, that’s just me. I mean what does correct spelling have to do with intelligence today, right?

Anon claims that TL is flip flopping yet it seems to me that the point in this blog is to say that relative to Freeney and Allen, Suggs is deserving of his contract and TL uses statistics to support such a conclusion. Nowhere in the blog does it say that TL defines Suggs as an elite player. So where’s the flip flop? He doesn’t say he would have paid Suggs that money, only that the money he received is commensurate with a player of Suggs’ statistical accomplishments.

And how can you make the comparison between Suggs and Cassel? Cassel could be a system QB and if that plays out to be true, then KC is caught with their you know what in their hands.

As for TL growing a pair, sorry to disappoint you Anon but he puts his opinions out there on a regular basis and I find his writing to be thoughtful. Those opinions are open to ridicule and the scrutiny of people lurking behind the shield of anonymity – people like you and for that matter me.

And WTF, “If the kitchen's too hot for you...go take a dump.”

Gee now that’s insightful and thought provoking.

A couple of final points…

You seem to be familiar with Tony and you are obviously following his work. So are you a stalker or are you some media guy with an axe to grind?

And finally, if you can bring it like your cyber muscles suggest, why not offer to do a blog on this site? Make it happen TL, provided of course that Mr. Anonymous has a pair of his own.

Dan in Fallston said...

What a GREAT idea Shadow. I'd personally love to see Anon put his cojones on the line so we can praise or criticize his vast writing skills and insightful analysis.

Make it happen Tony!

Make it happen Anon!

C'mon come out of the darkness and into the light.

Tessio said...

Suggs should get double what Cassel got....he's twice the player. The fact that KC paid a QB who has had one year of success with arguably the best collection of players and coaches in the league as much money as Suggs is laughable.

Two years from now, people will be laughing at Cassel and talking about how the Ravens tied up a franchise-player who is in the prime of his career. And when deals like Peppers, Williams, and Ware get done, Suggs' deal will look like highway robbery.

Pied Piper said...

C'mon Anon, come out, come out wherever you are you little cyber rat.

Anonymous said...

Well...I can't say much for the quality...but at least the quantity of the posts has picked up in this entry.

(And people wonder why those who live in Baltimore are often referred to as "Baltimorons"? ) LOL