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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ravens to honor Terrell Suggs in season finale

There is a collection of players who have had a huge impact on the Baltimore Ravens over the years. Former Ravens pass rusher Terrell Suggs is one of them. Suggs registered 132.5 quarterback sacks over 17 seasons in Baltimore. He played a huge role in bringing the Ravens their second Super Bowl trophy in 2012.

The Ravens will honor Suggs on Sunday, January 9, 2021, at M&T Bank Stadium as the Legend of the Game. This will be Suggs’ first time back at M&T Bank Stadium since his days as a Raven came to an end in 2019.

“I had to make a decision to come back and play a couple of more years, or whatever I got left,” Suggs said. “I felt like if I wasn’t going to be in a Ravens jersey there’s only one place I was going to be playing, so here we are.

“They made me a handsome offer, but it was just time. That organization, that team is very special and dear to me. It was very difficult to leave a place, or a team that you’ve been part of for so long, for 16 years. Kind of go explore the unknown. But I’m very confident in my decision and feel like I made the right one.”

The Ravens selected Suggs with the tenth overall selection in the 2003 NFL Draft. Suggs is the team’s career leader in sacks. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a two time All-Pro, and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. He is eighth on the NFL’s all-time sacks list and 1st all-time in tackles for a loss.

Like many other Ravens, Suggs fully bought into the team’s rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the years, Suggs and Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have had many battles. Everyone remembers his quote after sacking Roethlisberger three times in a 35-7 win over Pittsburgh in 2011.

“Big Ben, you know he’s a great quarterback,” Suggs said. “God can have his soul, but his ass belongs to me.”

It’s only fitting that Suggs will be honored as the Legend of the Game in what will likely be the final regular season game of Roethlisberger’s career.

The two-future Hall of Famers gained a mutual respect for each other as the Ravens vs. Steelers games piled up over their careers. That came to a climax after their final game against each other in 2018 at Heinz Field, which the Ravens won by a 24-16 score. 

“Just respect,” Suggs said after the game. “I’ve been a part of the rivalry for 16 years. That team has raised my level of play. Even rivals can show respect. I respect them tremendously. The player I am is because of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

The two players swapped jerseys. Roethlisberger’s message on the autographed jersey he sent to Suggs was short and sweet.

“Sizzle, It’s an honor to compete against you! First ballot HOF!”

The two players will exchange pleasantries at M&T Bank Stadium one last time on Sunday. 

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