And that may operate as an engraved invitation to claim him on waivers.
As players, fans, and media begin to characterize the NFL as an NBA-style league, where players pick their teams and not vice-versa, Suggs’ effort to clear a path back to Baltimore could be the thing that gets another team that wouldn’t have claimed him to go on and do it. Especially if he’s truly not going to show up, and in turn forfeit the $352,941 in salary he’s still due to make.
It takes only one team to make the claim, especially since the Ravens will be as of Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET the last team in the waivers pecking order. Indeed, it actually would make sense for the Ravens to not even make a claim; if he’s available for the Ravens to claim him, it’s better for both sides if he simply goes unclaimed, collects the $352,941 from the Cardinals as termination pay, and double dips with the veteran minimum from the Ravens as a free agent.
Still, the question is whether one of the other 30 teams will claim him, whether to help that team or to hurt the Ravens. In 2002, when Deion Sanders persuaded Washington to release him from the reserve/retired list so he could join the Raiders for a Super Bowl run, FIVE TEAMS put in waivers claims — and Sanders did not end up in Oakland (or anywhere else) that season. (He’d later unretire and play for the Ravens.)
It should surprise no one if another team makes a claim for Suggs, whether it’s a non-playoff team that hopes to stick it to the Ravens (like the Bengals or the Browns) or a playoff contender that would rather have Suggs not with anyone than back with the Ravens.
If nothing else, the Patriots should do it. Because it feels like the Patriots and Ravens are destined to meet again in the playoffs. Why would Patriots coach Bill Belichick want to let the Ravens have Suggs for that game?