Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs signed a six-year contract just hours before Wednesday's NFL deadline, providing a long-term solution to his previously unsettled status as the team's franchise player.
NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that Suggs' deal is worth $62.5 million, according to a league source, and the linebacker will receive $40 million in the first two years of the contract and $48 million over the first four seasons. The deal also includes $38 million in guaranteed money.
"I'm looking forward to showing them that they didn't make a mistake and they got the right guy," said Suggs, who had received the Ravens' franchise tag for the past two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to work out a contract or face being stuck with the franchise tag for 2009.
"I am glad it is over. Now we can get back to football," Suggs said. "Getting this done took compromises on both ends. I wanted to stay in purple and black, the Ravens wanted to keep me in purple and black, and they stepped up and showed me that."
Had Suggs not signed, he would have played the 2009 season for $10.17 million and become a free agent next year.
"Getting a deal done with Terrell is consistent with our history of retaining our best Pro Bowl players, like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement released by the team. "Securing Terrell for six seasons gives us a premier pass-rusher whose ability to stop the run does not get enough credit."
During his six years with the Ravens, Suggs has 53 sacks and 19 forced fumbles, and he hasn't missed a game. He led Baltimore with eight sacks last season and added four more in the playoffs, including two in the AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing an entire week of practice with a shoulder injury.
"This will be Suggs' seventh season, and he is still a young player," Newsome said. "Remember, he came to us as a 20-year-old rookie after his junior year in college. This is a good day for the Ravens franchise."
Suggs, 26, was selected by the Ravens out of Arizona State with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 draft. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is considered one of the best pass-rushers in the league, and he also has returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
"I'm going to continue to be the dominant player I've always been," Suggs said. "My best years are ahead of me."
As a franchise player, Suggs could have missed most of training camp. Now he will be expected to report with the rest of the veterans during the last week in July.
"I was already excited to start training camp, and now having Terrell there makes it that much better," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He is a great player, a tremendous person and an outstanding young leader. He's a foundation for our defense to stay at the highest level."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.