Minutes after the final game of the 2007 season, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked if he knew…
Will the Cardinals swoop in on Suggs?
Like the Cardinals, the Baltimore Ravens play a 3-4 defense, so Suggs would have few adjustments to make. Not only would the defense be familiar, but so would the weather.
Suggs grew up in Chandler, Ari., attended Hamilton High School and played at ASU under Dirk Koetter and Bruce Snyder. At ASU, he set himself apart as a veritable sack-master with school records for sacks (44) and tackles for loss (65.5).
Despite the Cardinals finishing with a non-winning record for the ninth consecutive season, Suggs has expressed a desire to move back to the desert and help complete the rebuilding process.
Suggs would be an additional experienced player to an already skilled defense. He led the Ravens with five sacks in the regular season, to go along with 80 tackles and a forced fumble. He is a two-time All Pro player and has been to two Pro Bowls. In 2003, he was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
Unlike Pace, Suggs has playoff experience (2003 and 2006) and would bring a winning spirit and attitude to the Cardinals. He would also bring versatility, as he is equally effective standing up and with his hand on the ground.
One potential holdup is the issue of guaranteed dollars. The Cardinals are more than $25 million under the salary cap but are known for shopping in free agency's discount isle. If Suggs is set on a $10 million annual salary, there may be little to negotiate. The Cardinals would then bring back Pace, who they are currently negotiating with, and use the extra funds on one or more middle-tier free agents.
Further complicating matters is that the Ravens could slap Suggs with the franchise tag, all but ensuring he stays in Baltimore. That decision will likely be affected by new Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who may switch to the 4-3 defensive scheme he used with the Philadelphia Eagles. If that is the case, he may decide Suggs isn't worth the hefty investment.
Suggs would be a welcome addition to the Cardinals' pass rush. He averages nine sacks per season and could push Arizona's pass rush into the top 10 -- the Cards ranked No. 13 last season with 36 sacks.
The creature comforts of home could lure Suggs into taking a home-team discount. If that's the case, the Cardinals will go a long way towards halting their nine-year playoff drought.
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