He then had to explain why he wasn't all that surprised.
"The closer we got to free agency, I thought it could be a possibility," Ngata told The MMQB. "It didn't surprise me, but it definitely surprised a lot of my family friends. But since we weren't getting closer to any kind of contract stuff, I just figured there were a lot of things that could happen. I definitely started to have a trade in my mind as a possibility."
Now, his curiosity will likely extend to a new deal in Detroit -- something he'd inevitably like to get done before starting a season with a new team at age 31.
"I really haven't thought about that much," he said. "I'm just trying to get to know my teammates, get my playbook down, and my technique and terminology."
Ngata will be one of the NFL's biggest players to watch this season. For years, the Ravens have trumpeted scheme above talent and have the lineage of excellent coordinators to prove it.
Seeing a close-to-prime star departing the Ravens, though, gives us a chance to see if it really is the system, or if general manager Ozzie Newsome is simply that good at drafting defensive talent.