The Ravens front office has earned their rings. In the coming weeks, they’ll earn their money.
The team’s starting quarterback, absent a long-term deal, could enter the new league year with a cap number in excess of $20 million. Other key players are due to become free agents. Their two tight ends — Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson — will be restricted free agents, thanks to a Steelers-style decision to use three-year contracts in 2010.
Perhaps the biggest challenge arising from a guy who’ll be going nowhere comes from the contract of linebacker Terrell Suggs. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Suggs’ cap number for 2013 is a whopping $13.02 million.
And so the Ravens would be wise to reduce Suggs’ cap number. The problem is that more than $6.6 million of it comes from past bonuses. With only two seasons remaining on his contract, not much of a benefit would be gained from a so-called “simple” restructuring, where the salary is reduced to the veteran minimum and the balance becomes a guaranteed payment.
The end result could be/should be a new contract for Suggs, which would give him a large pile of money now and extend his contract — and push the cap charges — into future years, presumably years in which the salary cap will increase due to the new TV contracts.
Regardless, the Ravens need to do something soon with the Suggs contract. And Suggs would be wise to go along, if he wants to continue to contend for Super Bowls.