The Baltimore Ravens may have just lost one of their greatest players for the season, as Terrell Suggs reportedly tore his Achilles while preparing for the annual conditioning test.
Suggs recorded 14 sacks and 52 tackles last year, earning him the NFL Defensive Player of the year title, as well as first team All-Pro (as voted by the Associated Press) honors.
The nine-year veteran was quick to post a message to fans on Twitter, claiming that he will do everything he can to get back into a Ravens uniform this year.
Suggs was drafted in the first round (10th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Ravens, where he has played his entire career. In that time he has notched five Pro Bowl appearances while recording 82 sacks, 412 tackles, and 44 pass deflections.
With the 2012 NFL draft done and dusted, it’s time to take a look at which players are threatening to boycott the offseason training programs (and potentially sit out the season) over contract disputes.
As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are still allowed to use a ‘franchise tag’ on one player. What that means, is that a player that would otherwise be a free agent and could sign with another team, is forced to stay with the team for one more year.
That player then receives an average of the top five player salaries for his position (or 120% of his earnings from the year before, whichever is greater).
This might sound like a good deal, but in reality it’s a one year contract with absolutely no job security and none of it is guaranteed. This means a player is out there risking injury with no long-term deal in place, kind of like driving a car without insurance, if you have a crash you are screwed.
The only defence NFL players have against the franchise tag is to ‘hold out’ and refuse to attend offseason training programs, and if it goes that far, refuse to play at all. If the player chooses to take it that far, and sits on the couch for a year, they will automatically become a free agent.
Usually these become a protracted standoff, and the teams eventually see eye-to-eye in crunch time, such as in the middle of training camp when the team really needs them to get practicing, or in the regular season when the player can’t stand sitting at home any longer.
Here is a look at each of the team’s franchise tagged players, and holdout threats It should be noted that players that haven’t signed the franchise tag are not allowed to work out with a team unless they sign an injury waiver (or sign the franchise tender), but these are easy to get if players want them:
Franchise tag – Calais Campbell, defensive end.
Campbell has said that he will skip voluntary workouts, but is hopeful a deal will come soon.