Terrell Suggs wants to finish his potential Hall of Fame career in Baltimore and it sure sounds like the Ravens are thinking the same thing.
General Manager Eric DeCosta said Wednesday that he will meet with Suggs’ agent this week at the NFL Scouting Combine to discuss re-signing the pending 36-year-old unrestricted free agent.
“I think ‘Sizz’ is definitely a guy that we want back,” DeCosta said. “He’s a guy that means a lot to our franchise, I think as a player, but also as a leader. I would love to have him back next year.”
Even in the twilight of his NFL career, Suggs has still been a productive player. His seven sacks were tied for the second-most on the Ravens roster last year, and he had 11 sacks in 2017.
His knowledge of the game is still a major resource, as Suggs can often call out opponents’ plays before they happen. He can still be a force against the run as well.
The Ravens have decreased Suggs’ snaps in recent years, which has helped him elongate his potential Hall of Fame career. But Baltimore could still need Suggs to play a big role on its defense.
Fellow outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith is also an unrestricted free agent, and he could get a substantial contract offer that lures him out of Baltimore.
Otherwise, the Ravens have emerging star Matthew Judon, but could be forced to rely on Tim Williams and/or Tyus Bowser to break out if Suggs were to depart. The Ravens expect Williams and Bowser to take a step forward (young outside linebackers often take time to blossom), but it would be a gamble, whereas Suggs is more of a sure bet.
Off the field, Suggs is still a tremendous leader in the classroom, helping to mentor younger players, and the heartbeat of the locker room. His fun-loving personality and passion for football rub off on his teammates. Plus, Suggs knows he can be his unique self in Baltimore, which wouldn’t be a guarantee elsewhere.
Suggs saw Ray Lewis play his entire 17-year career in Baltimore. He also saw Ed Reed depart in free agency in his final season. Suggs would prefer to follow Lewis’ path, but said he will play a 17th NFL season regardless.
“I would love to be a Raven for life,” Suggs said immediately after the Ravens’ 2018 season ended.
“I’m healthy. I feel like I've still got some juice in the tank. It’s up to them. We’ll have to see what happens. It’s a long time between here and March. Hopefully we can work it out, but if not, I'm going to be lining up for somebody next year.”