Baltimore Ravens’ Possible Salary Cap Casualties: Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs
Now that the Baltimore Ravens’ season is officially over, the front office will need to determine who is best for the future of the team. With that said, look for Ravens Nation to be a bit more upset than last offseason, as a few household names could be released. Two of the candidates up for release may be Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. The reasoning is simple. Production has decreased or stayed the same; their age and salary cap number have increased.
Ngata has fallen into the category of average defensive tackle as his numbers have fallen significantly (due to injuries and age). His salary cap number for 2014 according to spotrac.com is the highest on the Ravens’ roster, at $16 mil. While his tackle numbers are similar to last year with 52 combined tackles, 29 of those tackles were assisted. This usually suggests there was some jumping on the pile to pad the stats. Ngata also only had 1.5 sacks on the season. His norm is about five. When his numbers are compared to the up and coming beast DTs of the league, like Ndamukong Suh and Dontari Poe, Ngata pales in comparison, as they simply produce more. His counterpart may be slipping as well.
Suggs on the other hand, had a pretty solid year with 80 tackles and 10 sacks, but was not as efficient against the run this year. Can the Ravens really justify giving $12.4 mil to a DE/OLB that is only half a sack better than a player they are paying $3.8 mil to, in Elvis Dumervil? Suggs will be 32 this upcoming year and it appears that John Harbaugh is looking to get younger at all of the positions. Harbaugh may also be wanting to rid himself of all of the old “Ray Lewis” regime.
I love Suggs and Ngata as much as the next Ravens fan, but unfortunately this is a business. They overpaid these individuals and now need to make room for at least five premier stars who hit free-agency in March. Currently with only 13 mil under the cap, look for Ozzie Newsome to ask these gentlemen to either take a pay cut, or take their talents elsewhere.