NFL Free Agency started and ended for Terrell Suggs on Monday. The Arizona Cardinals landed one of the games most prestigious names.
Suggs played his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens to this point. He is set to sign with the Arizona Cardinals per Ian Rapoport. Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim helped his new offensive-minded head coach Kliff Kingsbury by bringing in a veteran on the other side of the ball. Suggs has been a consistent pass-rusher over his 16-year tenure with the Baltimore Ravens. Suggs will get a one-year, $7 million dollar deal.
Why Suggs is getting a new deal with the Cardinals
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Suggs in 2003 as an outside linebacker. He has been a consistently productive player on a Raven’s defense that will go down as one of the best in an era. As his stats would indicate, he will be a Hall of Famer someday, and he is already a Raven’s legend.
Suggs is near the end of his career, and he has strong ties to the state of Arizona. He was from Chandler, Arizona before he played at Arizona State in college, he owns a home in Scottsdale. A veteran player going home to end his career is nothing new, and it seems, that is what Suggs is doing. After the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers this year, he said, ”I’m healthy. I feel like I’ve still got juice in the tank.” The Cardinals must agree.
What can Suggs bring to the team?
Suggs has recorded 132.5 regular season sacks (Ravens record), been to seven Pro-Bowls, and won AP Defensive Player of the Year award in 2011. One might think that at age 36, Suggs would be slowing down. The numbers say otherwise, as he recorded 11 and 7 sacks in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Suggs fits the 3-4 OLB mold perfectly. He is excellent against the run and can hold the edge. According to Pro Football Focus, Suggs ranked as the 23rd edge in pass-rush and 14th in coverage. He will provide quality play and experience.
Arizona entered Monday with roughly $42 million in cap space according to overthecap.com. They still have plenty of money to work with, and I expect them to continue to make some signings to help beef up this pretty empty roster. Pass-rusher should be scratched off the to-do list for the time being. The Cardinals also have one of the best in the league in Chandler Jones.
What does signing Suggs mean for the Cardinals?
There are plenty of rumors that the team will take Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the draft and trade quarterback Josh Rosen. There are also beliefs that they will trade back and acquire more draft capital. You never like to assume a team would pass on a talent such as Ohio State edge Nick Bosa, but I would bet that the previous two theories are far more likely at this point.
Suggs isn’t the long-term answer, and he isn’t meant to be. I expect he will produce moderate numbers for the team, but teach any youngsters what it takes to be a pro. He will lead by example, both on the field and in the building, and Arizona is paying for just that.