Look at that, there is a Super Bowl champion pass-rusher available on waivers. Will the Eagles claim him?
Terrell Suggs was waived by the Arizona Cardinals on Friday and Twitter was abuzz with the possibility of him landing in Philadelphia. The 37-year-old was stuck on a 3-9-1 team and head coach Kliff Kingsbury had begun phasing him out of the defense.
It should be noted that Suggs had 5.5 sacks this season while playing on 69-percent of Arizona’s defensive snaps and starting all 13 games. That’s meaningful production from a guy destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The linebacker-defensive end hybrid will be on waivers until Monday. If he goes unclaimed, then any team will be able to sign the seven-time Pro Bowler. The New England Patriots have quickly emerged as the front-runners, but he should have no shortage of suitors.
That’s assuming he still feels like putting his body through the playoff grind. Suggs won one Super Bowl ring during a 16-year career with the Baltimore Ravens. He left as their all-time sacks leader with 138, along with 891 tackles.
Top 3 Reasons Eagles Need Terrell Suggs
He Helps Mediocre Pass-Rush
The Eagles pass-rush has been middle of the road through 13 games and it definitely has started trending up after a horrid start to the year. Still, their 36 total sacks rank 13th in the NFL while recording 91 quarterback hits, good for 17th in the league.
The problem is 12 sacks have come from two players — Brandon Graham (7.5), Derek Barnett (4.5) — and Barnett is dealing with a significant ankle injury. Sure, backups Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat have stepped up in recent weeks for seven combined sacks but the security blanket a veteran like Terrell Suggs provides goes beyond the stat sheet. He’s a leader on a team devoid of leaders.
He Brings Championship Swagger
Two of the biggest losses from the 2017 Eagles Super Bowl team were Chris Long and LaGarrette Blount. The former Patriots players brought a certain swagger — not to mention championship experience — that seems to be in high demand on this year’s team. Malcolm Jenkins is the undisputed leader, but he’s lost a step and sometimes seems preoccupied with his off-the-field endeavors.
Suggs is a no-nonsense, in-your-face personality that will hold teammates accountable. It’s something this reporter noticed first-hand two years ago during the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony when the seas parted as Suggs stepped on the elevator. He is revered by both his peers and former teammates. If the Eagles are looking to make a playoff run, they are going to need someone to kick them in the pants.
He’s Cheapest Rental in NFL History
The Cardinals are on the hook for $3 million of Suggs’ $5 millon salary since they released him. When you work out the rest of his contract, it would work out to $353,000 for the final two weeks of this year. That’s an absolute steal for a player of his caliber, a future Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion. Even better, the Eagles could choose to bring Suggs back in 2020 at a team-friendly rate since Arizona will have to absorb $2 million in dead money.
There are two major issues. One, there is no guarantee Suggs wants to come back and Suggs hasn’t played as a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme in a long time, probably since Mike Nolan left Baltimore. Instead, he thrived as a blitzing outside linebacker and it may take a learning curve from him to transition back to defensive end. But Suggs is the consummate professional. It shouldn’t matter.
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