Ravens planning for LB Terrell Suggs to return next season

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said last month that he plans to play for the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, and the feeling is mutual.

In Tuesday's "State of the Ravens" news conference, general manager Ozzie Newsome said that Suggs is in the team's plans for the upcoming season. That was the consensus from the personnel meetings last Thursday, according to Newsome.

"Both from the coaching side and the personnel side, we all want 'Sizz' [Suggs] back," Newsome said. "What 'Sizz' brings is another element not only with his performance on the field but with his leadership."

Suggs, 34, the oldest player on the Ravens' defense, led the team with 8.0 sacks this season. He is fifth among active players with 114.5 sacks, which also are the most in franchise history.

The Ravens decreased his playing time in an effort to keep him stronger and fresher throughout the season. His 35 tackles were his fewest in a full season since his rookie season in 2003.

Suggs was adamant about returning in 2017 when asked last month if he ever considered retiring.

"If you haven't caught on, I don't like those types of questions," Suggs said. "I know I'm not 26, but I'm not 40, either. I just like to play football."

There's not much incentive for the Ravens to part ways with Suggs. He is signed through the 2018 season and scheduled to make $4 million next season. It's unlikely Baltimore will cut Suggs, because he would only give the Ravens $1 million in cap savings, while counting $5.9 million in dead money (or $2.95 million in dead money if cut after June 1).

What has continually impressed the Ravens is Suggs' determination to play through pain. He appeared in 15 games this season despite battling a torn biceps and an elbow injury.

"He was still out there giving 100 percent," Newsome said. "He's had some great discussions with [coach] John [Harbaugh] with what his plans are for this offseason. We expect him to be back."