While nothing is guaranteed until the papers are signed, the Ravens and Terrell Suggs are one step closer in coming to terms with the franchised outside linebacker.
Suggs filed a grievance against the team stating that he played more snaps in 2007 as a defensive end instead of at linebacker. Under the franchise tag stipulations, a tagged player is due to receive the average of the top five salaries at his position for one year. The highest-paid defensive ends make considerably more than their linebacker counterparts.
What Newsome and Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, have done is agreed to a middle ground between both numbers, which would rule out arbitration of Suggs' case.
The NFL Players Association and NFL Management Council must approve the deal before it is official, and even then, Suggs must ink his one-year tender.
Still, that is no guarantee. Although the two-time Pro Bowler was at team headquarters for the Ravens' first voluntary minicamp in support of new head coach John Harbaugh, he could opt to wait out part - or all - of training camp before he signs.
The Ravens are continuing to work with Wichard and Suggs to hammer out a long-term extension before he reaches free agency status in 2009. Suggs has been outspoken in his desire to remain in Baltimore.
"I want to show my coach that I'm on board," Suggs told ESPN.com before the Ravens' initial practice. "I wanted to show him that I have total faith in him. He laid out his plans on where he wants to go. I've liked him from our first conversation.
"Despite the whole business side to this game, the main goal is to win football games." **
Read an exlusive Q&A with Terrell Suggs and NFLPLAYERS.com **