Free Agent Ndamukong Suh Says He Has Talked With Ravens About Signing
After signing Jadeveon Clowney in August and Kyle Van Noy last month, could the Ravens sign another proven veteran defensive player?
Free-agent defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh said on Sunday that he spoke with the Ravens recently about potentially signing with the team.
"Some breaking news: Last week it was the Ravens that spoke to me," Suh said on Sky Sports. "They seem to be interested."
Like he did last year when he waited until mid-November to sign with Philadelphia, the three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler is looking to sign with a contender for the second half of the season.
Suh, 36, has played in three of the past five Super Bowls as a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Eagles. He views the Ravens as a team that could be playing in the big game this season.
"It's got to be a team that's in the mix, and you want to play with great athletes," Suh said. "Kyle Van Noy. You have Roquan Smith and all these great players, and you have an amazing quarterback in Lamar Jackson. You never know. We'll see how the next two weeks go."
If Suh, an elite run-stopper who has 71.5 career sacks in 13 seasons, does end up coming to Baltimore, he would be joining a defense that is ranked No. 1 in scoring, No. 2 in yards, and No. 1 in sacks.
Ravens 'Might Be the Best Team in Football'
It seems like every week the national experts are fawning over a new "best team" in the NFL. Last week, it was the Lions. After routing Detroit on Sunday, the Ravens are the darlings this week.
To be fair, it's easy to understand why the talking heads are raving about the Ravens, who dominated a Lions team that was 5-1 and had won four straight games, all by double digits.
Here's a sample of what they're saying:
Colin Cowherd: "Between the coaching, that defense, and Lamar Jackson and those receivers, this morning that's the best team in the NFL. Not San Francisco, not Kansas City. That is the best team in the NFL."
Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager: "It felt like this was a Ravens statement game to the rest of the league: You can have your Lions party and you can do it elsewhere, just not in our building, not today. I was really happy for Baltimore because this was a lot of weeks of figuring it out and it all came together at the right time. And now Lamar is firmly in that MVP conversation and the Ravens might be the best team in football after that win."
Pat McAfee: "This Baltimore Ravens team is playing incredible football right now. More specifically, Lamar Jackson is playing incredible football right now. They took the brand new Lions into the deep end, beat the hell out of them and said you're the same old Lions to me. What do we know about this Baltimore Ravens team now that says wait a minute, the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens might be the team in the end that's standing toe-to-toe with the Kansas City Chiefs."
NBC Sports' Chris Simms: "I think Baltimore is definitely one of the best teams in football. When they've played at their best, even before this, I've been saying they look as good as anybody in the sport. … Baltimore's got everything. And I don't think for my money there's any doubt that they're one of the upper echelon teams in the NFL."
Fox Sports' David Helman: "This was one of the more emphatic, impressive performances of the entire season, and I think it has to change the way to perceive the Baltimore Ravens. That's not to say we didn't think they were good. They were 4-2 and they missed opportunities in both of their losses. But to this point we hadn't seen this. We hadn't seen them put it all together."
As nice as it is for the Ravens to get their flowers, the team's players and coaches are taking all the praise in stride. As Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the Ravens' frustrating loss to the Indianapolis Colts last month, they don't crown the champion in Week 3. He made it clear after Sunday's win that they don't crown anyone in Week 7 either, and the team has already turned its focus to this Sunday's game at Arizona.
The Baltimore Banner's Kyle Goon aptly summed up where the Ravens stand at this point in the season.
"There's obviously a long way to go. Fans know all too well that, over the last few years, the Ravens often look like the NFL's best team midseason," Goon wrote. "'Favorite' feels like a strong word, but they've been as good as any team with Super Bowl aspirations and are probably just two or so turnovers away from being undefeated. There will be a lot of buildup to late-season games against San Francisco and Miami, both of which will register as true tests of whether Baltimore is for real. Based on what we've seen, the Ravens have a ton of upside."
Stephen A. Smith Flip Flops on Whether Ravens Are Getting Money's Worth from Jackson
With the way Stephen A. Smith has flip-flopped with his takes on Jackson, the outspoken ESPN personality should consider a career in politics.
After the Ravens lost to Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago in a game in which Jackson's receivers dropped eight passes, Smith proclaimed that Jackson was not worth the money the team is paying him.
"The question is are the Ravens getting their money's worth from Lamar Jackson? The answer is no," Smith said. "Five years, $260 million, $135 million fully guaranteed. Overall guarantees escalating to about $185 million. They're 3-2."
Smith was singing a different tune after Jackson's masterful performance against the Lions.
"No question," Smith said when asked by former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan if the Ravens were getting their money's worth from Jackson. "We all know he's worth his money because he's box office. You walk through the turnstiles to see him. So I don't know what this debate was about that he's worth his money. Of course he's worth his money."
Jackson Is 'Clear and Obvious Choice' for MVP
As noted in yesterday’s Late for Work, Jackson is firmly in the MVP discussion, but The Ringer’s Ben Solak said the Ravens quarterback has emerged as the favorite to win the award for the second time in his career.
Solak described Jackson as "undefendable" and said his performances against the Browns, Lions and Bengals are what separates him from other MVP contenders.
"The best defense in the NFL, by expected points added per drive, is the Cleveland Browns. Through the first three weeks of the season, they were suffocating (the Bengals, the Steelers, the Titans). Then, they ran into the Ravens in Week 4," Solak wrote. "And what about the Lions, on whom the Ravens just consummately dunked? They'd be ranked eighth in EPA per drive without their matchup against the Ravens. And the Bengals, whom the Ravens beat in Week 2? They'd be ninth in EPA per drive without their Ravens game.
"This is as strong of a single-stat argument as you can make for a player's status as most valuable. Of course, the award typically goes to a quarterback with a lot of counting stats, and Jackson will have those. But Jackson affects both phases of the offensive game — as an elite passer and unique run threat — and provides his offense with a rare versatility. Defenses that stop regular offenses fail to stop him. They just can't have an answer for his rushing ability, his passing ability, and the structure of the offense all at the same time. If we are talking about truly valuable players — players without whom their teams would crumble — Jackson is the clear and obvious choice through seven weeks."