The famed Baltimore Ravens defense said goodbye to a pair of former Defensive Player of the Year winners after their Super Bowl season. They won't continue that trend in 2014.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Ravens and linebacker Terrell Suggs agreed to terms on a contract extension, according to a source informed of the deal. The team announced the formal completion of the signing at a news conference Monday.
The new deal is a four-year extension that will free up $4 million in salary cap space for the Ravens, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday, per sources who had seen the contract. Per Rapoport and Breer, Suggs will get more than $20 million in the first three years of the deal -- with $16 million in guaranteed money coming in the first two seasons.
This quickly resolves one of Baltimore's most pressing offseason questions. Suggs' $12.4 million cap figure was too much for a pass rusher who struggled down the stretch last season, and he was amenable to reworking his deal. It is a win-win move, but Suggs especially did well. He didn't take a pay cut and got plenty of guaranteed money for a veteran player. The Ravens clearly still value Suggs' play highly, and they got some cap relief in the process.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome sent a message to Suggs after the season, making it clear that the linebacker wouldn't be back under the terms of his old deal. The sides were able to find common ground, which should keep Suggs and Elvis Dumervil as the team's primary pass rushers.
Both Dumervil and Suggs are over 30, so Newsome still will be looking for some young blood to inject into the mix. Suggs was strong against the run in 2013, especially early in the season. However, he was missing his normal pass-rush explosiveness in his first full campaign back from a torn Achilles tendon.
This move opens up cap space to re-sign offensive tackle Eugene Monroe and use the franchise tag on tight end Dennis Pitta. Even though the Ravens' pass rush was lagging last season, the offense is a bigger concern for the team.
On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys debate Joe Philbin's future in Miami before playing another round of "Win Wess' Toaster."