Ravens place franchise tag on Suggs

Updated: February 19, 2009, 8:50 AM ET
By James Walker | ESPN.com

The Baltimore Ravens slapped the exclusive rights franchise tag on hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker Terrell Suggs Wednesday. This is the second consecutive year the Ravens have designated Suggs as the team's franchise player.

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Suggs, 26, was due to become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 27. The deadline to use the tag was Thursday at 4 p.m. and he will make $10.2 million for one year if a long-term deal cannot be reached.

"Our plan is to sign 'Sizzle' to a long-term contract," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "We believe our history of keeping our best players for a long time speaks for itself."

Using the tag on Suggs means future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, 33, could soon test the market. Baltimore, which continues to negotiate with both players, had to choose between the two Pro Bowlers and decided to put the tag on the younger player.

Suggs is the Ravens' most dynamic pass rusher. The former first-round pick in 2003 has 53 career sacks in six seasons.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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