Veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs did not want to leave Baltimore, but in the end, his heart got in the way.
“He said, ‘I’m going to go to Arizona and steal.’ Yes, swear to God,” Scott revealed on his radio show.
Scott claims Suggs told him, “I’m not going to make you pay me $7 million because that’s what the market says. I’m going to get it from Arizona.”
Suggs spent 16 seasons with the Ravens, winning one Super Bowl and compiling a franchise record 132.5 sacks. The team has completely renovated their defense in 2019 as Suggs was the last true holdover from the elite Baltimore defenses of yesteryear.
It’s been the Ravens offense carrying the load this season instead, led by the emergence of quarterback Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman Trophy winner ranks eighth in the NFL with a QBR of 66.2. Jackson has also rushed for 576 yards, the most among QBs, and is leading the NFL with 6.9 yards per carry.
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Suggs Returns to the Desert
The veteran attended Chandler High School and then later was a star at Arizona State. Suggs has lived and trained in the Phoenix area for years and was excited for the opportunity to play closer to home.
“I always wanted to play for my hometown team at some point,” Suggs told reporters during training camp, “whether it was coming out in the draft or on the back nine.”
In his first season with the Cardinals, Suggs has recorded five sacks and leads the team in tackles for loss with 9.5.
Ravens Revamp Defense
Baltimore’s pass rush has struggled without Suggs. The Ravens currently rank 28th in the NFL in sacks with just 12 this season. They are led in that category by Matthew Judon, who has registered four sacks this season. Judon is a homegrown talent and was taken by Baltimore in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Pernell McPhee is second on the team with three sacks this season. McPhee spent the first four years of his career with the Ravens from 2011 through 2015. He also played for the Redskins and Bears before circling back with Baltimore on a free-agent deal this offseason.
Besides McPhee, which was considered a minor deal at the time, the Ravens did not make any other free-agent acquisitions along the defensive line to replace Suggs, in fact, they also lost linebacker C.J. Mosely, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the Jets.
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith