Suggs Signs With Ravens, Receives Near-Record Bonus

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After wearing the franchise tag for the length of the 2008
season and being slapped with the tag again in February, linebacker Terrell Suggs was rewarded — handsomely.

The three-time Pro Bowler is set to sign a six-year contract with the Ravens worth $63 million, the Baltimore Sun reports. The contract includes roughly $33 million in bonuses, which is the second-most in NFL history to Peyton Manning’s $34 million.

The deal makes Suggs the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.

“Getting a deal done with Terrell is consistent with our history of retaining our best Pro Bowl players, like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis,” Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said on the team’s official Web site. “Securing Terrell for six seasons gives us a premier pass-rusher whose ability to stop the run does not get enough credit.”

The deadline for teams to sign players who have the franchise tag to long-term contracts is Wednesday at 4 p.m.

At 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Suggs has been the central figure of a
Ravens defense that finished second in the NFL last year in yards
allowed per game (261.1) and third in points allowed per game (15.3).
Suggs, 27, has never missed a game, averaging roughly nine sacks and 62
tackles per season. He has five career interceptions, returning two for
touchdowns. In three postseason games last year with the Ravens, Suggs
made four sacks and 11 tackles.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh echoed Newsome’s sentiments.

“I was already excited to start training camp, and now having
Terrell there makes it that much better,” Harbaugh said in a statement.
“He’s a foundation for our defense to stay at the highest level. Having
him in training camp will take him to higher levels.”

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