No reunion with Ravens as Suggs claimed by Kansas City

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There will be no reunion between Terrell Suggs and the Ravens for the stretch run as the seven-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker was claimed off waivers by Kansas City on Monday.
Cut by Arizona in a transaction described by Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as “the best move for both parties” on Friday, Suggs was subject to waivers with Baltimore being last on the priority list with its NFL-best 12-2 record. Reports over the weekend indicated Suggs would likely only be willing to play for the Ravens, but that didn’t stop the Chiefs from claiming the veteran in an effort to boost a pass rush that lost defensive end Alex Okafor to a torn pectoral in Sunday’s win over Denver.
Even if Suggs doesn’t report, Kansas City has at least blocked the Ravens from potentially strengthening their already impressive standing as the favorite in the AFC. For what it’s worth, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was on Baltimore’s coaching staff from 2013-14.
Though Wink Martindale’s defense has had issues setting the edge against the run — something the 37-year-old still does effectively — and could use more juice for a pass rush that’s relied more heavily on the blitz than any team in the NFL, exactly how much Suggs has left in the tank is up for debate. After registering five sacks in the first seven games of 2019, the 17th-year linebacker logged only one-half sack in his final six games for the Cardinals. His second-half statistical fade is something the Ravens saw in recent years, making one wonder what impact the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year would really have made on the field the rest of the way.
There’s also the question of how Suggs would have fit in a locker room that’s changed substantially since his March free-agent departure. Though outside linebacker Matthew Judon seemed to provide an immediate endorsement for his former teammate to return and many Ravens players have remained in contact since his decision to sign with the Cardinals, Suggs is unquestionably a big personality that left some observers wondering if he’d upset the chemistry on a team only one win away from locking up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Then again, such concerns didn’t sound like much of an endorsement for the strength of that cohesiveness, especially when you acknowledge the number of defensive additions — including a loud personality in cornerback Marcus Peters — who have been absorbed seamlessly since the beginning of the season. The Ravens wanted to retain Suggs in March, aren’t exactly loaded at outside linebacker, and were pleased with the veteran’s leadership and professionalism late in his Baltimore career, leaving little reason to think a reunion couldn’t have worked well for both sides.
That became a moot point Monday, but the Ravens remain more than fine without Suggs as they aim for their 11th straight win in Cleveland on Sunday to clinch the top seed in the AFC.