Former Ravens safety Eric Weddle announced his retirement Feb. 6, ending an impressive 13-year career that included three seasons in Baltimore, six Pro Bowl appearances and two First-Team All-Pro citations. Weddle’s name will surely come up in Hall of Fame discussions at the appropriate time.
As Weddle hangs up his cleats, another former Raven who could be destined for Canton could be next: Will Terrell Suggs, fresh off his second Super Bowl title, call it quits as well? Or is there a chance he could return for one last run with the Ravens?
Suggs remains the Ravens’ all-time leader in regular-season games played with 229 — a record that could be broken by punter Sam Koch next season. After leaving the Ravens via free agency this past spring, Suggs spent part of one uneventful season with his hometown Arizona Cardinals, then was cut, and many expected Suggs to make a return to Baltimore for one more Super Bowl run.
Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs signed Suggs via waivers, and he went on to win his second Super Bowl title with his new team. Suggs had two tackles and a quarterback hit in the Super Bowl, and between his time with the Cardinals and Chiefs, he finished with 40 tackles and 6.5 sacks this year. That increased his career sack total to 139, the eighth-highest total in league history.
After the Super Bowl, Suggs said he was not ready to make any decisions about his future, saying only that we wanted to celebrate the Chiefs title with his family. Suggs turns 38 in October and is set to become a free agent once again this March.
The Ravens have a glaring need to upgrade their pass rush, especially if they lose 2019 sacks leader Matthew Judon as a free agent. Would they pursue Suggs, even in a part-time, situational role?
That seems unlikely. The Ravens had hoped to re-sign Suggs last year, and owner Steve Bisciotti expressed surprise that he ultimately signed elsewhere, but the locker room took on a new identity this past year with the departure of Suggs, Weddle and quarterback Joe Flacco, among others.
This is Lamar Jackson’s team now, and the Ravens during the past few years have emphasized getting younger and faster, emphasizing how speed can alter the game on both sides of the ball. The Ravens will look to rebuild their defense with draft picks and younger free agents.
Suggs has made an indelible mark on the Ravens’ organization and the NFL, and it’s only a matter of time before his name is up at M&T Bank Stadium as a member of the Ravens Ring of Honor.
There’s always a chance the Chiefs or some other team could bring Suggs back on a relatively cheap one-year deal, but the bet here is that, as with Ray Lewis, a Super Bowl title proves to be Terrell Suggs’ “last ride.”
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