After battling through two serious injuries during the season, Terrell Suggs has reportedly received a bit of good news to start the offseason.
The outside linebacker will not need surgery to repair a torn biceps that he suffered Dec. 2.
“After getting a second opinion on his torn right biceps, Suggs is planning on rehabbing the injury rather than having it surgically repaired, according to sources familiar with the situation,” wrote Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun.
Suggs missed just one game after initially suffering the injury and also rested in the regular-season finale to give his body some extra time to heal for the playoffs. Other than those two games, Suggs played through the pain wearing a compression sleeve on his right arm to provide some protection.
Suggs finished the regular season with 22 tackles and two sacks, but he stepped up his play in the postseason and registered 21 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
He acknowledged leading up to the Super Bowl that he wasn’t completely healthy and that the injury had hindered his productivity to some extent.
Suggs also missed the first six weeks of the season because of a torn Achilles tendon. With a full offseason to recover, Suggs hopes to return to form in 2013.
When asked before the Super Bowl where he ranks among the top pass rushers in the NFL, Suggs just smiled and responded, “Ask me next year when I’m healthy.”
QB Dixon Signed By Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have signed quarterback
The former Oregon quarterback will be reunited with his college coach Chip Kelly, who replaced Andy Reid in Philadelphia.
Dixon, 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, is familiar with Kelly’s spread-option offense that he plans on bringing to the Eagles. Dixon flourished in Kelly’s offense and was considered the Heisman Trophy frontrunner during his senior year before tearing his ACL in the 10th game of the season.
The Ravens used Dixon as the scout team quarterback when they were facing opponents like the Washington Redskins who ran an option-based offense.
"Dennis is a veteran in this league that has been a part of two Super Bowl-winning teams in his career,” said Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman. “He’s also very familiar with Chip Kelly and how he operates."
Rice Hopes and Prays Leach Is Back
On a number of occasions, Rice has called Leach “the best thing that ever happened to me.” Since Leach arrived in Baltimore, he and Rice have both been selected to back-to-back Pro Bowls.
But now Leach is being mentioned as a possible salary cap casualty because he’s due a hefty $4.3 million and the Ravens are strapped for cash.
Rice told The Sun he hopes that’s not the case.
"Vonta is another guy whose name has been brought up about clearing out cap space," Rice said. "That's one of those situations you pray about and hope that everything works out and we keep as many guys as we can. One thing about losing a guy on our team, they are Ravens. You go somewhere else and it doesn't feel the same. They're Ravens. We want them to stay."
Draft Replacements For Lewis, Reed
For the first time in 17 years, the Ravens will begin a season without
With both Lewis and Reed potentially gone, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. examined players in the draft who the Ravens could target to replace them.
“There's not much to summarize about what these guys are capable of, but given how long they played, the Ravens can draft believing they may actually upgrade at those positions, as much as that sounds like sacrilege,” Kiper wrote. “It's not a shot at the players, just the reality of what you'd expect from them in 2013 versus a good young player at each spot.
One popular option mentioned as a replacement to Lewis is Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who has potential to slip to the end of the first round.
“Manti Te'o really could be around late in the first if things break right for Baltimore,” Kiper wrote. “I don't expect it, but it could happen. [LSU linebacker] Kevin Minter might be an even better fit.”
Kiper currently has the Ravens taking Minter with the No. 32 pick, but there is expected to be some significant shuffling of the mock drafts after the combine next week.
In the second round, Kiper highlighted LSU safety Eric Reid as a player who could replace Reed.
“Reid would be a good second-round pick to replace Reed,” he wrote.
- @TorreySmithWR: “Shoutouts to Dennis for signing with the Eagles...happy for him.” [Twitter]
- Inside linebacker
Dannell Ellerberanks sixth on this list of the most underrated free agents. [NFL.com]
- Check out this story from Fox45 about Shawn Hubbard, one of the Ravens team photographers. Hubbard talks about his experience during the Super Bowl run and shares some of his favorite photos that he captured of linebacker Ray Lewis. [Fox45.com]
Cary Williams’ gamble pay off? Last year he turned down a $15 million contract, and he’s hoping to cash in with more this offseason. [CSNBaltimore.com]
- @Albert Breer: “At this point, still looks like the meat-and-potatoes of the Flacco/Ravens negotiations will start in Indy -- Next Thursday at the earliest.” Breer also wrote, “Some element of contract ‘chicken’ in Flacco talks. But important to remember Ravens' terrific deadline deal record (ie Suggs, Ngata, Rice).” [Twitter]
- Just like the Ravens will go through some offseason changes, expect the Steelers to look different in 2013. [NFL.com]