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Terrell Suggs: Rookies should have to earn their money

Terrell Suggs AP

When Terrell Suggs was drafted 10th overall by the Ravens in 2003, he thought it was great that Top 10 picks could get big contracts before ever playing a down in the NFL. He doesn’t think that anymore.

In an interview with Sports with Coleman on Fox 1370 Sports Radio in Baltimore, Suggs said he supports a rookie wage scale and hopes that’s a part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement — even though he would have hated a rookie wage scale when he was a rookie.

“When I was coming in as a rookie I thought that was the biggest baloney I had ever heard,” Suggs said. “But now being a vet, being on the other side of the fence, and seeing the vets that have been in the league for years, have longevity and still haven’t reached that payday, I think it’s pretty unfair, and definitely the rookies should have to earn their money.”

Obviously, Suggs is speaking out of self-interest. He already got his when he was a rookie, and now that he’s a veteran he wants the veterans to get a bigger slice of the pie.

But that doesn’t make him wrong, and Suggs offered an interesting assessment of how rookies in the NFL might change their attitudes if they knew they’d have to earn their money on their second contracts, rather than getting tens of millions of dollars on their first contracts.

“You’d have rookies that would come in and show up to work with their blue-collar shirts and their hard hats,” Suggs said. “We would have less prima donnas in the league.”

Suggs also had some interesting comments on the ongoing labor negotiations, suggesting that the lawyers for both sides have an incentive to drag things out.

“Who’s really winning? One is definitely the lawyers for the players’ union and the owners,” Suggs said. “The lawyers definitely aren’t hurting.”

And Suggs weighed in on Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who said the Ravens would never win a Super Bowl with Joe Flacco at quarterback.

“LaMarr Woodely is one of the guys who likes to talk out of his ass,” Suggs said. “I’m not too concerned.”

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57 Responses to “Terrell Suggs: Rookies should have to earn their money”
  1. ravensfan4life52 says: Jun 22, 2011 4:48 PM

    yeah they should. T Sizzle is the man!

  2. lloydcarr1997 says: Jun 22, 2011 4:51 PM

    If Suggs played anywhere other then Baltimore he would be a much bigger star. He always seems to come up big in big games, but he is overshadowed by Reid and Lewis and to a lesser extent Haloti Ngata. Scary dude thou.

  3. eaglesfootballfan says: Jun 22, 2011 4:52 PM

    I can’t believe I am agreeing with Terrell Suggs. Some rookies get paid all this money and they do nothing.

  4. blspears says: Jun 22, 2011 4:53 PM

    Average career 3 years free agency 4 years, cap what rookies can make sounds genious to me. Followed by a giant NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Give up rookie money when most of you guys will play 3 years.

  5. hobartbaker says: Jun 22, 2011 4:53 PM

    Eventually Suggs and Woodley worked things out. They sat down, butt to butt, and had a long, productive, conversation.

  6. sf987 says: Jun 22, 2011 4:56 PM

    He’ll have his cake and eat it too

  7. radrhatr says: Jun 22, 2011 4:56 PM

    I’m happy there’s going to be a rookie wage scale. What’s Suggs supposed to do, give his back?

  8. vikefan says: Jun 22, 2011 4:57 PM

    they do, its called getting a great agent with a big mouth that knows how to sell u.

  9. Southpaw says: Jun 22, 2011 5:00 PM

    Suggs actually earned his rookie contract – DROY!

  10. 808raiderinparadise says: Jun 22, 2011 5:03 PM

    True, very true Suggs. Now go fix your gums and acne with all the money you have earned.

  11. ravensfan4life52 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:03 PM

    i like how pft always goes out of its way to take a shot at the Ravens even when they agree with what Ravens are saying.

  12. skinsrock says: Jun 22, 2011 5:09 PM

    Hey BLSPEARS… what if the money was guaranteed? That should be the trade off if I was the players… I would want that first contract guaranteed so if any injury occurs. Also, players can take out insurance policies to protect themselves…. Lloyd’s of London.

  13. skoobyfl says: Jun 22, 2011 5:09 PM

    When Suggs retires, it’ll all be about the benefits. We know the score on all this.

  14. semperfi24 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:11 PM

    Easy for him to say, he is getting money on the side for his role in the Resident Evil movies, LMFAO. See for yourself and tell me that isnt T Sizzle…

    http://residentevil.neoseeker.com/wiki/Nemesis

  15. djteknision1200 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:16 PM

    Yeah he think so now…I bet he wouldn’t feel the same way some years back when he was a rookie,

  16. robf2010 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:24 PM

    The rookie wage scale is a load of nonsense. There already is one. The first pick gets more than the second, the second gets more than the third, and so on …

    As for rookies earning their money, they absolutely do. Those names aren’t just picked out of a hat (Except maybe in Oakland). Where rookies get picked, whether it’s the first round or the 5th round, is earned. It is the reward for everything they’ve done until that moment.

  17. orakpwnd1983 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:28 PM

    Balogna?

  18. tripster999 says: Jun 22, 2011 5:28 PM

    What has been left unsaid with regards to the rookie wage cap is all the conditions that would go along with it. For example, maybe the players are allowed to earn their way to free agency earlier to give them an opportunity to make more money, but only if their performance merits it. There could be other considerations also.

    The interesting thing about this debate is there’s no one at the bargaining table to negotiate for the rookies. They aren’t in the union until they sign their contract. But you wouldn’t think either side would want to piss them off too much – that will just cause problems down the road.

  19. rogoceo says: Jun 22, 2011 5:30 PM

    Ok, yea, I am a Steeler fan so I am Bias. But this guy has brass….talking about Woodly talking out his a$$. Suggs talks as much or more than everyone else in the league. The Steelers have owned him and the Ravens over the last few years, so Woodly has earned the right to talk his junk. Man up Suggs and earn yours before you open that ugly mug of yours.

  20. rogoceo says: Jun 22, 2011 5:31 PM

    BTW….Suggs is right…rookie wage scale is way over due. Thay need to earn it. He would just be right place right time to double dip by getting paid on both ends. Lucky him.

  21. phreakin says: Jun 22, 2011 5:31 PM

    If he feels that way, then maybe he should give back some of the $9 million he earned on his first contract. Funny how the veterans feels this way now but when they’re rookies they were all about getting what they could.

  22. phreakin says: Jun 22, 2011 5:32 PM

    And yes, I know what he did his first 4 years but he got paid well before he did it.

  23. The Chu says: Jun 22, 2011 5:38 PM

    @blspears

    The problem with that “average NFL career” is that it’s including all of the 5th, 6th, and 7th rounders that both don’t get paid as high as first day draftees and rarely last in the NFL anyway. No one’s clamoring to cut those draftees’ salaries. Look at the 2007 draft 3 years ago (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2007/draft.htm) and you’ll see that the majority of the first three rounds are all still playing.

    The real issue is pretty much just first rounders, and even then, mostly the top 10. Sure, guys like Revis, Peterson, Thomas, and Johnson won’t get their giant rookie contracts, but they’d surely earn that money afterward. A cap will prevent guys like JaMarcus Russell making more than 90% of the NFL without taking a snap.

  24. schemefactory says: Jun 22, 2011 5:40 PM

    so should the owners! wealth creating wealth ain’t earnin nothin.

  25. RussianBreadMaker says: Jun 22, 2011 5:45 PM

    Rookies: “Terrell Suggs should get his face sanded!”

  26. SpartaChris says: Jun 22, 2011 5:48 PM

    blspears says:
    Jun 22, 2011 4:53 PM
    Average career 3 years free agency 4 years, cap what rookies can make sounds genious to me. Followed by a giant NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Give up rookie money when most of you guys will play 3 years.
    =====================================
    Spoken like someone with genuine ignorance of the subject.

    It’s been well documented recently the average career span for an NFL player is closer to 6 years than it is to 3. This allows for PLENTY of time to play through your first contract and get it on your second. Many even make it to a third.

  27. profootballwalk says: Jun 22, 2011 5:49 PM

    So will Suggs give back the money he got as a rookie and put it in a pot to be divided among the veterans who were playing at the time? Nice of him to be generous with someone else’s money.

  28. 52crabcakes says: Jun 22, 2011 5:51 PM

    gotta love me some Sizzle! @808raiderinparaside – Suggs has earned the lifetime title of King Ugly in Ravenstown!

  29. hobartbaker says: Jun 22, 2011 5:53 PM

    Rookie wages evolved naturally, though. Top picks may not contribute that much on the field, but they sell a lot of tickets and draw a lot of fan interest off the field. I don’t think Panthers drafted Newton first overall because they thought he was the best football player in the draft. Or even the best quarterback prospect. They draft him to generate fan interest and sell tickets. They sell tickets based on the work they did before they are drafted. In college and through the pre draft process. Most other sports, athletes can sign at 18, or even younger in some cases, and be earning big wages. Top hockey prospects are multi millionaires before they can get into a bar. Basketball and baseball as well. Soccer kids can be pros when they are 15 or 16.

  30. jacksaysfu says: Jun 22, 2011 5:53 PM

    I’m sold when i hear there will be less prima donnas . The college game dont always translate to the pro game , just ask jamarcus russel , ryan leaf , akili smith , reggie bush and sooo many other top 10 picks …REFUND !!!!

  31. CKL says: Jun 22, 2011 5:57 PM

    blspears says:
    Jun 22, 2011 4:53 PM
    Average career 3 years free agency 4 years, cap what rookies can make sounds genious to me. Followed by a giant NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Give up rookie money when most of you guys will play 3 years.
    ___________________________________
    Ummm…the guys who actually last only 3-4 years are usually not the ones getting big money up front. The big money up front guys are the higher first rounders and just because they get the big money up front and are first rounders I would bet that they are often given more time on a roster to succeed.

  32. tjacks7 says: Jun 22, 2011 6:01 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall you requesting to “earn your money” when you signed a $10.09 million with 7.3 million guaranteed in 2003 sir.

  33. KIR says: Jun 22, 2011 6:08 PM

    They did earn their salary. It’s called three years of unpaid mandatory of college football.

  34. citizenstrange says: Jun 22, 2011 6:08 PM

    The rookies DO earn their salaries by playing however well they play in their college careers.

    The great college players get great contracts and the lower round picks and undrafted free agents get not so great contracts.

    The NFL has a monopoly. If there was open bidding with Cam Newton and ALL players going to whoever offers them the most money (highest bidder) then that would be the very fairest way to determine rookie contracts. But htat is NOT how the NFL does business.

    Terrell Suggs is just saying “I got mine and now I want yours too.” Greedy, greedy, greedy.

    Actually he is worse than greedy. He is greedy and ungrateful.

    EVERYBODY gets paid on what they have done in the PAST. Their college careers are the only “past” the rookies have to bas their pay on.

    There are plenty examples of NFL veteran free agent busts. Albert Haynesworth?

  35. dk56 says: Jun 22, 2011 6:29 PM

    Considering he benefited greatly from non rookie wage scale, he would be best self seved by not having an opinion on it. Makes him come across like a dufus.

  36. ajc33635 says: Jun 22, 2011 7:03 PM

    Suggs is a very low grade intellect. Laughing about Woodley. Suggs wishes he could play football like Woodley or any Steeler for that matter.

    Ravens are a bunch of trash talking clowns. Their fans are worse. Lewis dancing like a fairy is their big thrill.

  37. whatswiththehate says: Jun 22, 2011 7:34 PM

    Terrell Shugg sounds selfish, plain and simply.

    He talks like a man who is only concerned with where he is at in life. He is no longer a rookie, so of course a rookie scale is a good thing. It will only benefit him who happens to now be a veteran.

    Who said some of these NFL players aren’t self-serving in their opinions.

  38. bcgreg says: Jun 22, 2011 8:09 PM

    I wonder what Terrell Sucks made on his rookie deal and if he thought he “earned” it coming out of college. Hypocrite.

  39. raven4life21 says: Jun 22, 2011 8:31 PM

    TSizzle is NOT greedy… he is only greedy in the fact that he wants as many sacks on Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as he can…

    this is a prime example of someone growing up… he was immature when he entered the league as everyone is and as his career progressed he learned from it… he now sees through the eyes of a grown adult NFL player.. he is ADMITTING that he thought wrong when he was a rookie and now he sees the light… it’s called LEARNING PEOPLE! i don’t think rookies should earn that much either… it’s a big reason why ticket sales are so high and us fans are stuck bent over grabbing our ankles to watch our favorite teams in action live… Don’t worry Suggs… I understand you and don’t think so superficially as many of these people do

  40. ianwhetstone says: Jun 22, 2011 8:53 PM

    “LaMarr Woodely is one of the guys who likes to talk out of his ass…”

    LaMarr Woodley is one of the several linebackers on the Steelers who is better than Terrell Suggs. And who do whatever talking they do with rings on their fingers.

    I happened to recently re-watch the Monday night Steelers/Ravens game from 2007. Around the last minute of the first half, the Steelers are up 35-7, just absolutely having their way with Baltimore on both sides of the ball. Roethlisberger is leaving Suggs grabbing air and pulling chunks of turf out of his face mask all night. Finally, with the help of a second guy, Suggs manages to get him on the ground once.

    Gets up doing his stupid dance. In a game that his team went on to lose by 31. Maybe he shouldn’t be talking about talking out of one’s ass.

  41. peanutbutter&jelly says: Jun 22, 2011 9:23 PM

    all players should have to earn what they get. and as for rookies who never played a down in the nfl should be capped and if not the amount of guaranteed money in the first contract should be.we all know some players make it some bust and some do o.k. but don’t quite live up to potential.if i were an owner i would hate wasting 30 40 50 mil guaranteed on a bust or on say a reggie bush type a player who preforms but not good enough to justify the huge contract.so to me what would be so wrong with a 2 year rookie cap that is able to be adjusted by the team for preformance or allow the team to add bonus money at the end of each year for preformance so those who earn it will get it and those who dont aren’t left out entirely.i know i must be out of my mind suggesting that people should earn what they make especially a pro football player

  42. Peter Venkman says: Jun 22, 2011 9:37 PM

    That’s so cute how the Ravens and Steelers are always going at it, because neither of them match up to the WORLD CHAMPIONS GREEN BAY PACKERS. The truth is a beautiful thing.

  43. tumsman2 says: Jun 22, 2011 9:52 PM

    Finally an intelligent Football Player.

  44. psuravens19 says: Jun 22, 2011 10:40 PM

    For those Steeler fans that keep saying Woodley is better than Suggs, please explain to me what exactly he has done in his career that makes him better?

  45. brownsfrown says: Jun 22, 2011 10:43 PM

    Deb must be on vacation in Antarctica not to have commented on the Woodley matter.

    Hope you’re having fun wherever you are, Deb!

    Where are you when your team needs you?

  46. joyjoy69 says: Jun 22, 2011 11:07 PM

    tumsman2 says: Jun 22, 2011 9:52 PM

    Finally an intelligent Football Player.

    ———————-

    Are you talking about Suggs? You must be new to the NFL…

  47. andyreidisfat says: Jun 22, 2011 11:45 PM

    “The NFL has a monopoly. If there was open bidding with Cam Newton and ALL players going to whoever offers them the most money (highest bidder) then that would be the very fairest way to determine rookie contracts. But htat is NOT how the NFL does business.”

    This may be the most Randian/Free Market way. But it not the most fair way. The most fair would be being payed on how they perform. That would be the most fair way. Salaries would be based on Stats and what a player is worth to a team, Much like the arbitration that baseball uses.

  48. piemasteruk says: Jun 23, 2011 2:22 AM

    I can’t believe Suggs is getting so much flak for hypocrisy. He openly admits that when he was a rookie of course he didn’t want a rookie wage scale and now he does because he’s a veteran.

    Well duh! Everyone wants to do the best they can for themselves.I would feel exactly the same in his position, so would all of you I bet. He is completely up front about the fact that his opinion has some self-interest about it, which is more than anybody else has who has an opinion on the subject (including other veterans, incoming rookies and agents) that I have seen.

    And before ayone starts making assumptions, no I’m not a Ravens fan nor do I have any particular affinity towards Suggs.

  49. chiefsfan55 says: Jun 23, 2011 8:22 AM

    I think there should not be a rookie scale bc that takes away from the risk teams take in the draft!

  50. ianwhetstone says: Jun 23, 2011 10:02 AM

    psuravens19 says: Jun 22, 2011 10:40 PM

    For those Steeler fans that keep saying Woodley is better than Suggs, please explain to me what exactly he has done in his career that makes him better?
    ___________________________

    Well, let’s see, he’s… played football better. In the span of Woodley’s four-year career, he has established himself pretty thoroughly as a better, more consistent pass rusher than Suggs; in that regard, Suggs has been inconsistent at best for a supposedly top player at an edge rushing position. Woodley is also a more versatile defender, playing a position with far greater burden to be able to cover in space.

    Now, Suggs is an exceptional run defender, but that is an area in which Woodley is no slouch, either. Plus, you know, Woodley’s team has actually accomplished stuff worth crowing about, and isn’t all hot air.

    It’s not that Suggs isn’t a good football player; it’s that like so many Ravens players, he’s simply overblown. (Over the past two years, the Ravens have paid Suggs $40 million to stuff the run and be so-so rushing the passer. $40 million!) That’s a football team that wants to be regarded as one of the elite franchises in the league, but they simply don’t have the resume of accomplishment to back it up… much like their quarterback, right defensive end, and no doubt several other of their players.

  51. psuravens19 says: Jun 23, 2011 10:52 AM

    @ianwhetstone

    Lets compare the first four season for both players.

    Suggs:

    Sacks: 40
    Tackles: 220
    INTS: 3
    FF: 14
    Defensive Rookie of the Year

    Woodley:

    Sacks: 39
    Tackles: 186
    INTS: 3
    FF 7

  52. ianwhetstone says: Jun 23, 2011 11:38 AM

    psuravens19 says: Jun 23, 2011 10:52 AM

    Lets compare the first four season for both players.
    ____________________________________

    Why? What relevance does that have to who is the better football player recently, or now?

    I’d say “let’s look at the last four seasons” (or, probably more meaningfully, the last three seasons, since Woodley does not play on a team that inserts high draft picks into the starting lineup just to do it), and the numbers obviously would change, but then I’d still be falling into the same old stat-trap, pretending that numbers on a page tell a story.

    If you’ve followed Baltimore regularly, it’s been pretty clear that for several year prior to 2010 he really struggled rushing the passer consistently, and even last year it’s not like he was one of the top guys in that regard. Woodley has certainly been better getting after the passer in that period, and not just because his sack numbers have typically been a good bit higher. (And that’s not even getting into how much higher they are per pass rush attempt; Suggs rushed the passer 1466 times in the last three regular seasons, compared to only 1119 times for Woodley.)

  53. piemasteruk says: Jun 23, 2011 3:39 PM

    “Why? What relevance does that have to who is the better football player recently, or now?”

    Far more relevance than your “Woodley is better than Suggs because the Steelers are better than the Ravens” argument.

  54. ianwhetstone says: Jun 23, 2011 5:10 PM

    piemasteruk says: Jun 23, 2011 3:39 PM

    Far more relevance than your “Woodley is better than Suggs because the Steelers are better than the Ravens” argument.
    ____________________________________

    Well, no, not really. That’s not an argument that I advanced, for one thing–there was a whole paragraph about rushing the passer, and versatility, maybe you skipped over that–but if it were, that would at least be relevant to the degree that Woodley influences the quality of the Steelers and Suggs influences the quality of the Ravens.

    The “first four years” angle, on the other hand, is essentially completely irrelevant. You might as well suggest comparing Woodley’s first four years to Lawrence Taylor’s, and conclude that Taylor is the better player in 2011.

    (And, come to think of it, this angle about Suggs’ first four years is essentially arguing that he has declined since his early seasons. I’m not sure that’s an approach that will take you very far in a matter of debate.)

  55. piemasteruk says: Jun 24, 2011 12:25 AM

    I did read your earlier arguments too and to be honest I don’t really have a strong opinion on the matter. They are both quite different players, with different skill sets and as a result they are difficult to compare. And since I am not a fan of either team, and don’t have a strong interest in either player, I probably don’t even know enough about them to make a strong call (although as a result I am also unbiased).

    However, I do know that the fact that Woodley has more superbowl rings than Suggs is entirely spurious. It’s one of those annoying arguments that clouds the real issue and all it means is that Woodley is surrounded by a more talented array of teammates and coaches. *Maybe*, and this is only a maybe, it is a relevant argument in a quarterback debate, (such as the Brady vs Manning issue), because that position is so important, but even then it is used way too much. I’m sure a Mr Marino would agree with me there and I’m sure a Mr Dilfer wouldn’t.

  56. ianwhetstone says: Jun 24, 2011 9:47 AM

    piemasteruk says: Jun 24, 2011 12:25 AM

    They are both quite different players, with different skill sets and as a result they are difficult to compare.
    ___________________________________

    Oh, I don’t know, I don’t think they’re _that_ different. They’re both big-bodied edge rushers, playing in defenses that emphasize run defense responsibility. It’s not like one’s a defensive tackle, or a Tampa 2 end.

    ___________________________________
    “I probably don’t even know enough about them to make a strong call (although as a result I am also unbiased).”
    ___________________________________

    Come on now, man… who cares how “objective” you are if you’re admittedly uninformed?

    ___________________________________
    “I do know that the fact that Woodley has more superbowl rings than Suggs is entirely spurious.”
    ___________________________________

    Well, I would disagree that it’s _entirely_ spurious, but certainly it gets bandied about with more weight than it often ought to be given. But, I think that you misunderstand the context in which it was referenced, which was about justification for a player running his mouth. If, hypothetically speaking, two players both run their mouths equally, the player doing so with hardware on his fingers is standing on firmer ground than one without. (Even more so if that hardware results significantly from head-to-head competition between the players’ respective teams.)

  57. steelchuck123 says: Jun 24, 2011 12:27 PM

    Let me preface by stating that I am a Steeler’s fan…. Now to the discussion / arguement at hand. The success of a player solely depends on the players around him. I won’t list the players who changed teams during free agency because they had a big year, and thought it was “them”…then arrived at the new team, and didn’t produce. It is the SYSTEM ladies and gents that dictates success….

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