Suggs, Ravens Go To Arbitration

Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens defensive end linebacker hybrid – well I think you know where this is going – Terrell Suggs has taken action against the Ravens as his agent filed a grievance against the team for an unusual reason: neither side can agree what Suggs’ position is. Suggs is seeking an additional $814,000 that comes with being paid like one of the top 5 defensive ends in the NFL ($8.879 million); the average for linebackers is $8.065 million.

As of this writing, an arbitration hearing of this sort that usually goes before an “NFL special master” has not been scheduled in order to resolve this dispute. Suggs argues that he played over 50% of the snaps on the field as a defensive end last year; on the other hand, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome countered that argument, stating, “Well, in our defense, Terrell has always been an outside linebacker, was drafted as an outside linebacker and that’s why he was designated as such.”

Newsome also reiterated that Suggs was twice named to the Pro Bowl as a linebacker and plays said position in their core defense; Suggs can be considered a “hybrid” player – meaning that he alternated between a 2-point stance where he stands up and a 3-point stance with his hand on the ground. The Ravens, despite this disagreement, want to re-sign Suggs to a long-term contract but are hamstrung until Suggs’ franchise designation is decided.

Interesting arguments from both sides; what will be key is how the “NFL special master” will come to whatever decision he eventually comes to – especially when it comes to the evidence supplied by both the Ravens and Suggs. Fortunately, these types of hearings usually get resolved in 24-48 hours. I would not be surprised if Suggs wins this argument and gets designated a defensive end. While $800,000+ is a small amount of money for most NFL clubs, the Baltimore Ravens can be considered “cash-strapped”, so while at first glance this doesn’t seem to be a big deal, for the Ravens, it is.

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