The contract is worth $63 million, according to a source.
A news release from the team said the agreement, reached late Tuesday night, would be completed Wednesday afternoon.
“I wanted to stay in purple and black, the Ravens wanted to keep me in purple in black, and they stepped up and showed me that,” Suggs said. “This means a lot to me and my family. Now I can be a Raven for the better part of my career.”
The key to the contract was the structure. Suggs will receive signing-bonus and option-bonus money that will total $33.1 million in 2009 and 2010, according to a source.
That is believed to be second only to Peyton Manning, who received a $34 million signing bonus.
Defensive end Dwight Freeney received $31.5 million in signing- and option-bonus money during the first two years of his contract with the Colts. Freeney and Suggs were both represented by Gary Wichard.
“Getting a deal done with Terrell is consistent with our history of retaining our best Pro Bowl players, like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “Securing Terrell for six seasons gives us a premier pass-rusher whose ability to stop the run does not get enough credit.”
“This is a good day for the Ravens franchise.”
Suggs had until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to sign a long-term deal. Had he not, he would have played this season at $10.17 million and become a free agent next season. Now, on a long-term deal, Suggs becomes the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.
The payout of the contract was the reason for the signing. In the first two years of the contract, Suggs will make $40 million. In the first three years, he will make $43.4 million. And in the first four years, he will make $48.3 million.
“You guys know that he energizes our practices. He brings that vitality to the game, and he makes the locker room fun,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a foundation for our defense to stay at the highest level. Having him in training camp will take him to higher levels.”
Suggs, who will turn 27 in October, has been the Ravens’ franchise player for the past two seasons. He has 53 sacks during the first six years of his career and is considered one of the best pass-rushers in the league.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Suggs came out of Arizona State in 2003 as a first-round pick. He played defensive end until the Ravens started using more 3-4 schemes.
In some seasons, he played more at defensive end than linebacker, but the position didn’t matter. Suggs’ job was to get to the quarterback for sacks. Now, he has sacked the contract of a lifetime.
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