NEW ORLEANS -- A mere 3,565 days have passed since the 2003 NFL draft. That's not nearly long enough for Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs to forget about a certain team passing over him in the first round.
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals know what's coming next. They know the Cardinals traded out of the sixth overall slot in 2003, when Suggs was coming out of Arizona State as the top pass-rusher in the draft. They know Arizona used its first-round choices for receiver Bryant Johnson and pass-rusher Calvin Pace instead.
Suggs, speaking Tuesday from the Ravens' hotel at Super Bowl XLVII, thanked the Cardinals for letting him slip in the draft.
This thank you note was delivered unsolicited and with the back of the hand. Suggs was answering a question about his first contact with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. The two had taped a commercial together before that 2003 draft. The Ravens were picking 10th overall. Lewis told Suggs the two could wind up being teammates. Suggs, admittedly naive at that early stage of his career, figured he'd be long gone by then. He figured the Cardinals wouldn't let him get past that sixth pick.
"Lo and behold, the Arizona Cardinals traded out of the pick," Suggs said. "Thank you all for that. I appreciate that with all my heart. Thank you."
The Cardinals found longtime starters Anquan Boldin, Gerald Hayes and Reggie Wellis later in that 2003 draft. Boldin, traded to Baltimore in 2010, will join Suggs in the Ravens' starting lineup against San Francisco on Sunday.