OWINGS MILLS - Terrell Suggs still thinks he has plenty of good football left, and he wants to play it in Baltimore. The Ravens still believe Suggs can help them win, if they upgrade the talent around him.
That was the takeaway from Monday’s press conference to announce Suggs had signed a four-year contract extension. According to sources, Suggs will receive more then $20 million in the first three years of the deal, including $16 million guaranteed. The structure of the new deal will free up around $4 million in cap space for the Ravens.
Suggs was entering the final year of a six-year contract that counted $12.8 million against the cap next season. Now the Ravens can pay Suggs, with more flexibility to re-sign their own free agents like left tackle Eugene Monroe and tight end Dennis Pitta, while pursuing others players next month during free agency.
Referring to his nickname, "Sizzle", Suggs made it clear he intended to end his career with the Ravens, where he has played his entire 11-year career.
"Sizzle is here for life," Suggs said.
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How many years Suggs has left depends on how well he performs. At age 31, Suggs feels like he has plenty left in the tank, and the Ravens hope he is correct. Despite finishing with 10 sacks in 2013, Suggs had just one sack over his final eight games. The next challenge for Suggs is to play more like he did in the first half of 2013, when he had nine sacks over the Ravens’ first eight games. Suggs admitted he had been critiquing why his production tailed off in 2013.
“I think I was probably down the stretch trying to do too much,” Suggs said.” I stopped letting the game come to me.”
However, when studying videotapes of the past season, Newsome said he still saw an impact player in Suggs. “I gained a new appreciation for how Terrell affects offenses,” Newsome said. “He affects them in the passing game as well as the running game. It was something that jumped out at me while looking at other players around the league.” Suggs said giving the Ravens more cap flexibility was important to him.
“We all knew we needed some salary cap space, bring some guys in so we could reload,” Suggs said. “The No. 1 priority for myself, Ozzie, and everybody in this building is to win.”
Monday was a win-win day for Suggs, and for the Ravens. Now Suggs is approaching the offseason with even more motivation.
“I want to see if there’s another level I can hit,” Suggs said. “I came back in shape last year, and I plan on coming back in phenomenal shape this year.
“I’m only 31 years old. I guess what you’re asking me is, you can expect some sizzle next year.”