In early May, Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles tendon while training in Arizona. Last week he had surgery to repair the partial tear and he is expected to return in October or November, the exact date has yet to be determined.
His injury is considered a “Non-Football Injury” because it happened outside of the team’s facility or direction. According to the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA); the Ravens are not obligated to pay him:
“A player who is placed on a Nonfootball injury or Illness list (“N-F/I”) is not entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list …”
If the Ravens place him on the Non-Football Injury list, they will save $2 million based on Suggs’ salary of $4.9 million and he would need to miss the first seven games of the season.
He also has a $250,000 escalator clause for the 2013 season. League sources say that he is considering restructuring or extending his contract when he is healthy.
Suggs is one of the key pieces of the Ravens defense. He was voted The Associated Press’ NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 2011. In his nine seasons with the Ravens, he only missed three games and has played through other injuries.
There is likely to be controversy over whether or not Suggs should be paid. There is some merit to placing him on the Non-Football Injury list as it would free up $2 million for the Ravens to bring in new players.
I don’t believe that saving some money now will do any good down the road. Suggs is a key defensive player who injured himself while training for the season; he did not intentionally cause the injury. Not paying him would add insult to injury (pun intended) and it would give him a chip on his shoulder and would likely cause all sorts of commotion in the locker room.
One day LB Ray Lewis will retire and it is likely that Suggs will take over as the team’s leader and the Ravens should do everything they can to keep him happy. He has given his heart and soul to the team and it is only fair that the Ravens take care of him and pay him while he recovers from surgery.
The Ravens have until the start of training camp to make a decision.
What do you think? Should Suggs be paid?