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It's always interesting when a player signs a big contract, particularly one that is a record deal for a given position. Some fans will express joy over locking up the player, others will fret the signing and complain that the modern day athlete makes too much and no one is worth that kind of mind.
Does it matter really?
Contracts and those negotiating them measure market value and the going rate for a player of Terrell Suggs' caliber is pretty much what he was paid.
Critics will point to his drop off in sack production over the last few of years. Suggs has failed to reach a double digit sack total for four consecutive seasons. Yet his overall production has picked up. Detractors might agree on the improved overall play but argue that Suggs doesn't impact a game like Jared Allen or Dwight Freeney and therefore doesn't deserve the kind of money they are paid.
But is that a fair comparison?
Freeney is pretty much a sack specialist and a liability against the run. He is aided by the fact that his offense is often playing with a big league forcing opponents to the air. Freeney can then tee off. That said Freeney over the last 3 seasons has produced only 19.5 sacks. Suggs has 22.5. Freeney has 78 tackles over that same period while Suggs has 212.
Suggs is 26, Allen 27 and Freeney 29.
Which player made a bigger impact?
Jared Allen has been a nightmare for QB's taking down signal callers 37.5 times over the last 3 seasons with 161 total tackles.
Suggs has been much more productive from '06-'08 in pass defense than Freeney with a 2-0 edge in interceptions and a 22-2 edge in passes defended. Allen has 1 interception over that same period and he's defended 23 passes.
If Freeney was worth his $30 million, Suggs is clearly worth his $32-33 million in guaranteed money. Depending upon your style of defense, Suggs and Allen are close but it's hard to argue with those who might favor Allen as the more disruptive player and therefore a bit more deserving of his $31 million than Suggs is his newly acquired riches.
Then again Suggs didn't cost the first round pick and two third round picks that the Vikings gave up for Allen.
The Ravens also don't have to worry about Suggs off the field.
Allen has had one four game suspension for substance abuse.
If Freeney and Allen are your measuring sticks and you consider their deals to be market value, then it's hard to argue with the price that Steve Bisciotti paid to lock up Suggs in Baltimore for the next six seasons.