Thursday, November 15, 2012
Ravens once wanted Leftwich over Suggs
By Jamison Hensley
Nine years ago, the Baltimore Ravens wanted the quarterback who is starting against them Sunday (Byron Leftwich) more than the best player currently on their own defense (Terrell Suggs).
Confused? Well, the first round of the 2003 draft was all about confusion. The Ravens coveted Leftwich so much in that draft that they completed a last-minute trade with the Minnesota Vikings to jump three spots to No. 7, where they could have selected the quarterback prospect out of Marshall. But, because they got a busy signal when trying to inform league headquarters, time expired before they could complete the deal.
Instead, the Jaguars took Leftwich with the seventh pick and the Ravens selected Suggs with the 10th. Leftwich has gone on to play for four teams (Jacksonville, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh) while Suggs has become the Ravens' all-time leader in sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season. I guess you could say the Ravens were lucky the league office didn't have call waiting in 2003.
At the time, Leftwich thought he was going to go to the Ravens.
"I remember having phone talks with Ozzie [Newsome], and it was pretty much set in stone," Leftwich told Baltimore reporters in a conference call Wednesday. "I guess the debacle happened during the draft and everything. I remember being at the draft. I think I had three teams with my name on a card trying to shove it in. I remember that part, because I was at the draft. I thought I would be a Raven, really, when I first came up, but it didn’t happen that way.”
On Sunday night, when Leftwich faces Baltimore, the Ravens hope they end up with the better end of the deal once again.