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Ozzie Newsome: Terrell Suggs' return not assured

Will Terrell Suggs play elsewhere next season?

During Wednesday's state of the union in Baltimore, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome hinted that the team's premier pass rusher is far from untouchable.

Set to count $12.4 million on the books in 2014, Suggs looms as an expensive piece of the puzzle for a team without much salary-cap room. Newsome said the Ravens will "have to talk about" Suggs' future, with the GM clarifying that he's not afraid to let players walk.

Suggs, 31, tore out of the gate this season with nine sacks over his first eight games. He finished with 10.

It speaks volumes that Baltimore is weighing his release when he's still under contract. Suggs is still one of the league's top 3-4 'backers and a beast against the run. If the Ravens cut him, he'd likely earn a fortune on the open market from a team convinced -- two years removed from Achilles surgery -- that he's got plenty left in the tank.

Here's what else we learned from Baltimore's meeting of the minds:

  1. Owner Steve Bisciotti characterized the team's 8-8 finish as a major disappointment. "Had we not had the history over the past five years," he said, "I probably would demand wholesale changes."
  1. One immediate change comes in the coaching ranks, where run game coordinator Juan Castillo will now oversee an offensive line that let the Ravens down in 2013, contributing to the firing of running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery. The Castillo switch means that current line coach Andy Moeller is either out of work or facing a new assignment. "The rest of it is in a little bit of flux," coach John Harbaugh said.
  1. After parting ways with a handful of familiar faces last offseason, Newsome said the Ravens will be "active" in free agency come March. He suggested one strategy would include chasing down released players to save compensatory picks.
  1. One soon-to-be free agent, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, remains in the plans: "We would like to have (him) on the football field for us," Newsome said. The general manager acknowledged "it's a possibility" Baltimore will use its franchise tag on Pitta. That said, the Ravens weren't able to keep everyone around last offseason, and they don't have the cash to do it all.
  1. Bisciotti told reporters: "I think you're going to see a lot of changes in personnel and how we approach that." Newsome cited the team's top needs as: (1) bigger interior linemen on offense; (2) an athletic safety; and (3) receivers or tight ends equipped to make plays on third-and-long.
  1. Bisciotti also took an opportunity weigh in on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's sideline antics on Thanksgiving night, calling the episide "bizarre" and "strange." Said Bisciotti: "His intent, that's in his court," adding he was just glad to see the Ravens escape with a win.
  1. The overriding takeaway? Baltimore, an organization completely uncomfortable with missing the playoffs, isn't sitting still. It will be fascinating to watch what levers Newsome and his crew pull in the months ahead.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" featured a very special in-studio visit from Bears star Brandon Marshall.

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