Although Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was relatively noncommittal Wednesday during a state of the team news conference at team headquarters on whether Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is a lock to return for next season, sources indicated that a contract extension remains a viable scenario.
Ideally, the Ravens would like to reach a financial compromise with Suggs. However, he has a $7.8 million base salary and a $12.4 milllion salary-cap figure heading into the final year of a $62.5 million contract signed in 2009. And the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is also inclined toward staying in Baltimore provided the numbers are favorable toward him, according to sources.
"Well, I've had the opportunity to talk to Suggs every day -- that's a decision that we'll talk about," Newsome said. "Terrell is a real good football player. He not only shows up in the pass game, but he shows up in the run game. That being said, we let a good football player go last year.
"So, we're not afraid. I'm not a virgin when it comes to letting guys walk out the door. What we'll do is we'll look at every aspect of it and see what's best for 2014, 2015 and 2016 Ravens and then make that decision once we get to it."
Of concern to the Ravens beyond the money is how Suggs, 31, declined in the second half of the season in terms of production. He recorded nine sacks in the first eight games, but just one sack and 20 tackles in the second half of the season.
Newsome said he doesn't envision restructuring contracts because of the Ravens' steadfast belief in not mortgaging the future.
"I think we'll continue with our theme of not restructuring contracts, but there's a different between restructuring and offering guys extensions," Newsome said. "We have guys that are in the last year of their contract or heading into the last year of their contract, and we've had a history of being able to get good deals done with guys heading into that last year. I don't think we will embark on doing any more restructuring, but we will probably end up doing some extensions."