The Baltimore Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta field questions from the media at the NFL Scouting Combine. (Jonas Shaffer / Baltimore Sun video)
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta remains hopeful that the team will re-sign pending free agents C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs, he said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine.
DeCosta indicated that the Ravens would meet with the agents for both players this week and continue negotiations. Mosley, the Ravens’ top unrestricted free agent, could be under consideration for the franchise tag, which would be worth about $15 million for linebackers. But DeCosta said that “our preference would always be to do a long-term deal with a player like C.J.”
“Obviously, C.J. is a critical part of our team, a big part of our defense,” DeCosta said of the former first-round pick and four-time All-Pro selection. “We hope that we can bring him back next week. We have expectations that we’ll have some progress this week.”
Suggs trailed only Mosley in snaps among Ravens linebackers last season but finished with seven sacks in 16 games, his fewest in a full season since 2005. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore since being taken No. 10 overall in 2003 and turns 37 in October.
“I think ‘Sizz’ is definitely a guy that we want back,” DeCosta said. “He’s a guy that means a lot to our franchise, I think, as a player, but also as a leader. I would love to have him back next year.”
Less certain is the Ravens’ interest in bringing back cornerback Jimmy Smith, 30, and Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle, 34. With quarterback Joe Flacco's pending trade, Smith would have the Ravens' highest salary cap hit for 2019 ($15.85 million), while Weddle’s is $9.25 million. The team would incur $6.5 million in dead money by cutting Smith before June 1 and $1.75 million by parting ways with Weddle.
With DeCosta expecting cornerback Brandon Carr, who’s signed through 2020 and has “every quality that you would want on your team," to return next season, the Ravens could attempt to restructure Smith’s and Weddle's contracts.
“We’ve got to be as responsible as we can with the salary cap, trying to free up as much money as we can to make moves moving forward,” DeCosta said. “There’s a lot of different ways to skin the cat, so to speak. I think we’ve had a lot of different discussions on what’s the best move for the club moving forward with different players — veteran players, younger players.”