This agreement made sense for both sides. The Ravens needed to lower Suggs' $12.4 million salary-cap number and free up some much-needed space to re-sign (or tag) tight end Dennis Pitta, upgrade the offensive line and bring in another impact free agent, whether it's a free safety or a wide receiver. Suggs, 31, gets to possibly retire as a Raven and doesn't have to hit free agency, which hasn't been kind to pass-rushers over 30.
In the end, Suggs realized he wasn't going to make more money elsewhere and the Ravens understood they weren't going to get a pass-rusher like Suggs at a lower price. It was a smart move for the Ravens and Suggs. The Ravens know they're not getting the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but Suggs is still a quality defender who can rush the passer and set the edge against the run (although he had lapses in this area last season). He made 80 tackles and 10 sacks in what was a below-average season for him.
There is some risk involved in extending Suggs. His game has been in decline the past two seasons. He missed half of the 2012 season after tearing his Achilles tendon and he picked up weight in the second half of the 2013 season, which led to one sack in his final eight games and a reduced number of snaps. But, considering what the Ravens have to address in the draft and free agency, they didn't have the luxury to spend money in free agency or use a draft pick on a pass-rusher this offseason.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata should pay attention to the Suggs extension. He has a $16 million salary cap number in 2014 and is entering the next-to-last year in his contract. If the Ravens don't approach him with the same type of deal this year, Ngata can expect the team to do so next year.