Suggs deal? Check. What's next?

Suggs deal? Check. What's next?
February 16, 2014, 10:15 pm
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The Ravens will hold a news conference on Monday, and all indications are that general manager Ozzie Newsome and Terrell Suggs will announce that the linebacker has worked out a long-term extension.

Newsome can thus check off the top line on his offseason to-do list.

What comes next?

Most likely, the next items on Newsome's list are working out deals with tight end Dennis Pitta and tackle Eugene Monroe.

The day the Ravens hold the news conference, Feb. 17, also happens to be the first day that teams can apply the franchise tag. Don't expect the Ravens to make a move right away, but the clock begins now and continues until March 3, the deadline for applying the tag.

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Pitta remains the top candidate for the tag, and Newsome said at his end-of-season news conference that using the tag is "a possibility." But Pitta presents a potentially difficult situation for the Ravens. They will surely argue he deserves to be tagged as a tight end. But his agent could argue that Pitta lined up primarily in the slot, and therefore he should be tagged as a receiver, which carries a franchise tender of nearly $5 million higher than that of a tight end. Or, the Ravens could try to work out a longer-term deal with Pitta.

Monroe, the Ravens left tackle after being acquired from Jacksonville in the first midseason trade in franchise history, is set to become a free agent in March. As with Pitta, the Ravens would like to keep Monroe on board. He was one of the brighter spots on a disappointing offensive line last season.

The Ravens are loathe to give up draft picks and they gave up two for Monroe; if he leaves in free agency that means they gave up two draft picks for essentially a half-year rental. It's hard to believe the Ravens didn't envision signing Monroe long-term when they made that deal.

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In both cases, the Ravens need to crunch a lot of numbers and see what they can squeeze under the cap. But the Suggs extension will give them more room.

No doubt after the news conference with Suggs, Newsome will be rolling up his sleeves and getting right back to work.

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