Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Can Mathis play enough to join elite class?
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- Terrell Suggs signed an extension with Baltimore on Monday that could keep him with the Ravens for the next five years. If Suggs does play out his contract, he’ll become only the third defensive player drafted in the past 30 years to play at least 16 years with the same team, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Ronde Barber (16 years) and Ray Lewis (17 years) accomplished the feat with Tampa Bay and Baltimore, respectively.
Suggs isn’t the only defensive player with a chance to also play at least 16 years with the same team.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis is in line to do it, too.
Mathis was selected by the Colts in the 2003 draft. He's not showing any signs of slowing down now that he’s in his comfort zone in coach Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
Mathis, who will be 33 later this month, is coming off the best season of his 11-year career. He led the league in sacks with 19.5 and finished second in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Mathis has two years remaining on his current contract. He and the Colts will have to agree to at least one more deal in order for him to join Lewis, Barber and possibly Suggs in elite company.