The Baltimore Sun reports:

Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs said Friday that he is nearing a long-term deal with the Ravens, a contract that surprisingly won’t make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.

The league deadline to reach a new contract with players who have received the franchise tag is July 15. If no deal can be struck, Suggs would play under the franchise tag for a second straight season, earning $10.2 million this year.

“We are close to an agreement. We just have a few little things to work out,” Suggs told The Baltimore Sun. “I don’t want to go into great detail, but it’s things like the years of the agreement and incentives, but the basic framework has been done.”

Suggs, 26, is considered one of the rising defensive stars in the NFL. Some NFL observers have contended Suggs would test the free-agent market in March, when he would be one of the top players available.

But the Ravens’ top pass rusher said Friday that he’d “be very surprised if this contract isn’t done soon.” He also denied rumors that this contract will make him one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL.

“No, that’s not true,” he said. “But that’s cool if people want to believe that. Being one of the highest paid players has never been my motivation. I just wanted to be paid what is fair, what I think I’ve earned.”

This would be good news for Baltimore for several reasons. First, it would lock up their young star and avoid having him go on an open market where they most certainly would lose his services. Second, it would get his cap number to a more manageable number and clear some room to obtain another big contract. (Perhaps a Wide Receiver?)