When news broke that the Arizona Cardinals were releasing outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the speculation was inevitable.
Could Suggs reunite with the Baltimore Ravens, the best team in the NFL and the home of the first 16 years of his career? It seemed like a match made in heaven, especially considering one of the Ravens’ few remaining weaknesses is a pass rush that requires heavy blitzing to regularly get to quarterbacks.
Unfortunately, there was a rather major obstacle for that idea. Because the Cardinals released Suggs after the trade deadline, he has to pass through waivers before hitting free agency. And because Suggs is still a decent player and would only cost a new team a little over $350,000 to pick him up, reaching the Ravens — who have last priority thanks to their NFL-best record — seems quite unlikely.
Well, now Suggs is reportedly doing his best to reach Baltimore.
Terrell Suggs wants the Ravens, and only the Ravens
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Suggs is “strongly considering” not reporting to any team that claims him other than the Ravens. Per Schefter, Baltimore is Suggs’ “overwhelming preference” for a landing spot, and doesn’t care about the $350,000 he could lose for not reporting.
Basically, Suggs is trying to make teams think they would get nothing out of claiming him other than a headache.
It’s quite the situation for Suggs to find himself in, because it’s not like the Ravens didn’t want him back for this season. The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year instead decided to sign with the Cardinals, which was a homecoming of sorts since he played at Arizona State in college.
In 13 games with the Cardinals, Suggs has posted 5.5 sacks and 37 tackles. Meanwhile, the Ravens have torn through the league like no other team in franchise history and could lock up the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win next week against the Cleveland Browns.
We’ll see if this tactic works for Suggs, though it still seems unlikely he makes it to Baltimore. For one, a team that claims Suggs might not be able to use him on the field, but keeping a good pass-rusher away from a Super Bowl favorite in need of pass rush help is reason enough for every NFL contender to claim him. No one wants to do the Ravens any favors right now.
If it does work, the Ravens may as well not claim him and let the Cardinals foot the bill for his salary, then sign him for the minimum in free agency.
Whatever happens with Suggs, we’ll find out Monday afternoon.
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