Ravens have tough decisions coming on Suggs, Ngata


The Ravens overhauled their defense this offseason, without being awash in salary cap room.

They did it by knowing when to let go, trading expensive-but-old Anquan Boldin, cutting Bernard Pollard and holding the door open for free agents Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed and Cary Williams.

And with more big moves on the horizon for next offseason, the Ravens are already looking ahead at another sticky cap situation.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens have nearly $71 million of next year’s cap committed to six players (that would be 58 percent of this year’s $123 million limit, and the cap isn’t expected to rise dramatically).

That includes a team-high $16 million for Haloti Ngata, and $12.4 million for Terrell Suggs, both of whom are coming off injuries which limited their effectiveness last season.

So even though they’re looking at another crop of key free agents (Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, Michael Oher, Arthur Jones, Corey Graham), they’re confident about being able to keep the right parts together.

“I think the thing we want to do is just live in the moment right now,” assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta said. “Those guys are under contract. They’re all outstanding players. They’re some of the very best players at their position in the league. We just want to play this year. We’ll let those decisions wait until the future.

“We have a lot of flexibility with the cap. [Negotiator] Pat Moriarty and Ozzie do a phenomenal job of making tough decisions. We’ve made a lot of tough decisions over the last couple of years. They’re hard decisions to make. Any time you have to cut a player or let a player go in free agency because of the salary cap, it’s tough to do that.”

Having so many key players hit free agency at the same time is the bane of drafting well. But as the Ravens have shown this offseason, they’re not above letting guys walk and drafting a replacement, or plugging one in whom they drafted a year ago.

That kind of year-ahead thinking and successful drafting is the reason they won a Super Bowl, but have remained competitive for more than one season at a time.

34 responses to “Ravens have tough decisions coming on Suggs, Ngata

  1. It’s going to be painful like tearing a band aid off in one peel, but once its over its over. I just will trust in Oz that they will have a productive , winning football team on the field because I have no reason to think otherwise from one of , if not, the greatest franchise in football ! I’ll cross that bridge when they get there.

  2. Yes it is a slow news time for the NFL but its way too soon to be talking about the 2014 offseason.

  3. Had no idea just how broke this team is, I guess Oz isn’t looking too smart these days. Between overpaying the QB, and future issues like having $28M tied up in 2 players past their prime, I think we’ll get a true sense of the FO in the next few years, and it won’t be pretty.

  4. No problem! With all the dough they’ve spent on an average qb, let him go both ways. A little nose and a littleOLB…no problem at all.

  5. That so called “free agent crop” is really a ridiculous statement. Graham is a fill in at CB who had his first solid season last year, Oher is a good RT who wants LT money so he’ll go, Dickson is terrible… If we keep Art and Pitta were solid.

  6. When you drop that much cap on one guy this is what happens. QBs on rookie deals are the best bargain in the NFL. But it doesn’t last forever.

  7. I would not be upset in the slightest if the Ravens chose to let Oher walk. He’s been decent enough at right tackle, but he still has too many holding and false start penalties on him. Let him go and draft a tackle next year to replace him on the o-line.

    Pitta and Dickson on the other hand, not to mention Suggs and Ngata….

  8. If this were any other team they would be considered in rebuilding and people would talk about how they could have managed their cap space better… but since its the Ravens they’re “overhauling” and it’s no big deal. Gotta love media bias!

  9. Best organization in the NFL. Ozzie will do the right thing. He always does.

  10. That kind of year-ahead thinking and successful drafting is the reason they won a Super Bowl… – no, they just didn’t have to go through the Lers – ha!

  11. If you cut Ngata the remaining bonus money that gets excellerated into that year is too much to take. He’ll be around through ’14. Suggs, however, is most likely gone after the ’13 season. He’ll be missed, but his best years are in the rear view mirror.

  12. Once the Ravens lineup is 20 out of 22 players drafted “by them” then you will realize what Ozzie is all about. Plugging his draft mistakes with someone else’s players. The Ravens SB win will be erased with the 1-4 start that is coming.

  13. There’s no one on that roster to replace Ngata or Suggs. I love it. Suggs was no existent when the Ravens played Pittsburgh. Same goes for Ngata. Pouncey is handling him consistently now.

  14. This is only news to fans of teams that don’t nail the draft year after year. When you have a backlog of talent, the older players have to go. They will find a way to retain Ngata, but Suggs and Oher will take a pay cut or go elsewhere. Pitta will retire a Raven.

  15. Arm chair GMs may think the Ravens have a bad front office but at least one expert who gets highly paid for his opinion as an NFL insider disagrees. Ravens ranked #1, best front office, in the NFL. It is not hard to find anymore, check it out. It is tough when your opinion is shot down by facts.

  16. My thoughts exactly. I think Suggs is either told to restructure to stick around or they let him leave in 2013. Ngata, however, is the tougher one to replace; Dickson isn’t as good as Pitta and Oher isn’t as good as all the hype for him coming out of school and the feel-good-story-turned-movie etc. He is good but yeah too many penalties still and doesn’t deserve LT money.

    They can draft another tackle, see how Upshaw Brown etc progress and possibly already have a Suggs replacement on the depth chart–or draft the best 3/4 OLB or 4/3 hybrid OLB/DLman to replace him next year along with the tackle. As it stands then, their only true need would still be to find Boldin’s replacement/another weapon at receiver for Flacco. Smith is good but not good enough to do it all by himself and once he starts getting double teamed more (which will happen) Flacco will struggle without another solid wideout #2 or great slot receiver.

    In the end, I say they work to keep Ngata over Suggs as he is way more crucial to the defense, now that Suggs has seen his better days; don’t forget his torn ACL and his age now as well.

  17. The Ravens will retain both Ngata and Suggs. No chance Ozzie lets either of them go. If worse comes to worst, at least they both earned a ring with the Ravens. But I think they’ll be in Baltimore for years to come.

  18. Love Pittsburgh and Washington fans Cingular to comment on a ravens piece. You have logical reason whose team has not win a meaningful game in the time that the ravens have won 2 SB’s and Pittsburgh yahoos whose team we have flat out passed. Tough being irrelevant isn’t it?

  19. Charlie Batch. My hero. He’s the reason the Ravens defense was blown up. SEVEN NEW STARTERS from last season.

  20. The question in my mind is why did they put themselves in that position in the first place? $71 million of next year’s cap committed to six players. They may want to rethink their cap strategy. You don’t have to mortgage the future to get big time players under contract. Teams like the Packers successfully sign big dollar players and pay for it “now” when the player is contributing to the team, and without huge ballooning salaries and spread-out bonuses that can kill your cap in future years. And there are plenty of other teams that know how to effectively manage the cap too. Let’s not be so quick to hand out praise to Baltimore on this one – drafting good players is only part of the big picture.

  21. Why do the Steeler fans keep yapping about Charlie Batch? Even assuming he was the sole reason the Ravens lost that game, the victory was meaningless. If the Ravens had won, they would still have been the 4th seed. If Pittsburgh had lost, they would still be the 3rd place loser-has-beens they are today. It’s like that stupid immaculate deception. What was gained? Steelers got their tails kicked by Miami the very next week. Poor Steeler fans. Nothing to root for but a dismal future. Sad. Smh.

  22. How many of you leaving the overly optimistic comments are the same ones who jump on the Steelers article about their cap status commenting on how poorly mismanaged they are?

  23. SEVEN NEW STARTERS on defense on a poor defense to begin with. Garbage ILB’s. NO go to WR. No Center to speak of. Yeah, the Steelers are the “dismal” future team. The Ravens will start off 1-4.

  24. Hey dopes,

    You know that the last year of a multi-year deal for marquee players is usually super cap-heavy, right?

    That’s why they often renegotiate contracts before the player hits free agency. (unless they’re not part of the long term plan)

    Oh, and by the way, deals for several years or more typically escalate each year, with a front-end high signing bonus spread out over the term of the contract. That’s why the Ravens have Flacco this year at a cap number of only $6.8M.

  25. “How many of you leaving the overly optimistic comments are the same ones who jump on the Steelers article about their cap status commenting on how poorly mismanaged they are?”

    Steelers and Ravens are night and day. Ravens let a lot of players walk specifically to protect themselves from getting into the salary cap nightmare that the Steelers are in right now. This is why we are the Superbowl Champs and the Steelers are an 8-8 team with nothing to brag about but the so called good ole days. Sad. Smh.

  26. Suggs and ngata ain’t going nowhere dickson gone they signed 3 ufa tightends this year blindside is a bum he will be gone k.o can move to Rt next year graham will be gone but a Jones will stay but not on a huge contract

  27. jtbsteeler says: May 20, 2013 3:30 PM

    SEVEN NEW STARTERS on defense on a poor defense to begin with. Garbage ILB’s. NO go to WR. No Center to speak of. Yeah, the Steelers are the “dismal” future team. The Ravens will start off 1-4.

    Dude you are wrong on so many levels it is not even worth correcting you. Just stop trying so hard and show a little class. You can comment without being…that guy.

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