General manager Ozzie Newsome sent a message to Terrell Suggs at the Baltimore Ravens' state of the union new conference last month, making it clear that he's not afraid to let key players walk out the door if they won't take a pay cut.
Any fears that Ravens fans might have harbored after Newsome's speech will be assuaged by the following news.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the team and Suggs are closing in on a contract extension, per a source informed of the deal. The Ravens have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon.
Suggs was due to count an untenable $12.4 million against the salary cap after he struggled to make an impact in the second half of the 2013 season.
We suspect that Suggs was amenable to a restructured contract because he realizes that pass rushers on the wrong side of 30 don't land big-money deals on the open market.
Saving $5-6 million on Suggs and increasing the cap space to $17-18 million would allow Newsome to re-sign left tackle Eugene Monroe and/or linebacker Daryl Smith, while holstering the franchise tag for tight end Dennis Pitta.
Newsome hasn't overseen a team with a losing record in seven years. To recapture the AFC North, he's going to need the financial flexibility provided by Suggs' salary reduction.