Ravens to get sizzle back

Terrell Suggs

Standout to end 23-day absence, sign tender

August 16, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

Terrell Suggs will report to the Ravens tomorrow, ending a 23-day absence from the team, a source said.

The two-time Pro Bowl player will sign his franchise tag tender that will pay him $8.5 million this season as a hybrid defensive end-linebacker.

Suggs, 25, will miss his second preseason game tonight but is scheduled to practice Monday and participate in about 15 plays in the third preseason contest at St. Louis. He would likely sit out the preseason finale and be ready to play in the Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

It is believed that Suggs will sign his contract without asking for a condition that would prevent the Ravens from franchising him again next season.

The Ravens kept Suggs off the free-agent market this season by franchising him as a linebacker Feb. 19.

But Suggs filed a grievance nearly two weeks later, saying he should receive the one-year tag for a defensive end - which is $800,000 more than a linebacker would earn - because he played more than half his snaps as a pass-rushing end.

The Ravens and Suggs avoided a hearing by essentially creating a new position - a hybrid defensive end-linebacker - and splitting the difference between the two tags.

He missed all of Ravens training camp to protest the tag, but coach John Harbaugh indicated Thursday that Suggs could report to the team next week. Suggs couldn't be fined by the team because he hadn't signed the tag, which technically meant he was not under contract.

Suggs was the 10th overall selection in the 2003 draft.

In five NFL seasons, Suggs has recorded 45 sacks and earned two Pro Bowl selections (2004 and 2006). Last season, he had a career-low five sacks but a career-best 80 tackles.

* Note: The Ravens will show Michael Phelps' final race at the Beijing Olympics on M&T Bank Stadium's SmartVision boards after the Ravens' preseason game tonight. His race is scheduled to begin at 10:58 p.m. Backup tight end Daniel Wilcox (toe) passed his physical and is eligible to come off the physically-unable-to-perform list. ... O.J. Brigance will be honored tonight by the NFL's Player Development department for the team's outstanding continuing education program. Brigance is in his fifth season as the Ravens' director of player development.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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