As the Ravens went through last year's free agency spending spree, one of the most significant moves was working out a long-term contract extension for outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Suggs was heading into the final year of his contract, so the new deal gave him stability that he would ultimately finish his career in Baltimore. It also freed up some money by lowering his salary cap hit in 2014, allowing the Ravens to go out and sign other free agents like left tackle Eugene Monroe, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., linebacker Daryl Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta.
Could the Ravens go a similar route with fellow veteran defender Haloti Ngata?
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated that may be case.
"I think everybody knows the answer to that, but I don't really want to get into too many specific situations right now until we come back with a plan," Harbaugh said during Tuesday's season-ending press conference. "But, we all know the answer to that question."
Harbaugh said that the Ravens will go through their personnel meetings starting Wednesday, and then he will meet with General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Owner Steve Bisciotti to develop the specific strategy heading into the offseason.
The Ravens tried to work out an extension with Ngata last year, but were ultimately unable to come to an agreement. He is now heading into the final year of his contract and reportedly carries a $16 million salary cap hit.
Ngata, 30, could be a prime candidate for an extension that would ultimately make him a Raven for life. He is heading into his 10th NFL season, and is coming off a strong year. Ngata finished the season with 31 tackles, two sacks, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
He was healthy all year, but played in only 12 games because he served a four-game suspension at the end of the regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Ngata is considered one of the leaders in the locker room, and he spoke with optimism after the loss to the Patriots about what the future has for him and the Ravens.
"Hopefully we can get a lot of these guys back next year," he said. "We have a young team and I'm excited what we can do in the future."