Late For Work 2/23: Suggs’ GQ Tebow Comments Draw Debate

Wallace acknowledges he may leave Pit. Benson’s days with Bengals appear over.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 9:24 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Suggs’ GQ Tebow Comments Draw Debate

Usually ESPN talking head Skip Bayless and Terrell Suggs are quarreling.

So to hear Skip actually stick up for Sizzle feels weird.

A little background …

In a GQ article titled “The Year of Magical Stinking: An Oral History of Tebow Time,” writer Michael Silver outlined some of Suggs’ comments about the polarizing quarterback – along with several other sports figures’ statements – from throughout the season.

Most of Suggs’ quotes about Tebow are playful and sarcastic, but he “crossed the line,” wrote Jamison Hensley, by repeatedly bashing him.

The GQ quote grabbing the most attention reads as follows: “They say we were giving him a hard time because he’s a Christian,” Suggs said. “No, that’s not it! We were giving him a hard time because he was terrible.”

Perhaps it was a slow news day for sportswriters to debate comments made from Week 8 (following the Broncos’ loss to the Lions), or maybe Tebow headlines just drive traffic, but either way, the topic is generating buzz across the internet.

His remarks to GQ had no humor at all,” wrote Hensley. “I’m not saying that Suggs is wrong to criticize a quarterback. I agree that Tebow is overrated. But taking repeated shots at a player starts to make it personal.”

Steven A. Smith believes Suggs’ point was an important one to make, however, and represents what other Tebow critics feel – their critiques are about his game, not about his faith.

“The players themselves believe that the public perception of them when they’re critical of Tim Tebow is based on his willingness to pray, etc. What Terrell Suggs is saying is, ‘It’s got nothing to do with it. I’m judging him as a football player. When you are in between those lines, I’m not thinking about his religious beliefs. I’m thinking about getting after him, he’s a quarterback. I don’t think he’s that good.’

“And I respect that because what he’s doing is what I’ve been striving to do for ages. I’m trying to bring it back to the game. Can you throw or can’t you throw?”

And then came Bayless to Suggs’ defense.

Faithful Late For Work readers this season know the two battled on numerous occasions about the merits of Joe Flacco and Tebow.  Bayless would try to get Suggs to say something disparaging about his quarterback, and instead Suggs would attack Bayless’ “man crush” on Tebow.

“I’m going to take some blame for Suggs’ comments here because he and I have sparred regularly on this program,” Bayless said. “And I might have pushed Suggs over the edge on Tebow because we have gone [hot and heavy].

“So I’m going to give him a little bit of a break.”

This likely won’t be the end of the Suggs-Tebow headlines.

The topic will certainly be revisited when the Ravens play host to Tebow and the Broncos in 2012.

Wallace Acknowledges He May Leave Pit.

Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said he wants to stay in Pittsburgh, and his agent is talking with the team to find a possible contract negotiation that would keep him there, but he recognizes that may not be possible.

“[Pittsburgh is] where I would like to be, but we all know that it is a business and you have certain things you have to handle,” Wallace told Sirius NFL Radio, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “So if I have to go elsewhere, you know Pittsburgh will always be in my heart, but I have to do what I have to do.”

Wallace is set to become a restricted free agent in March and the cap-strapped Steelers have a decision to make about whether they will put a first-round tender or the franchise tag on him. Franchising Wallace might not be possible given the lack of salary cap space the Steelers have.

A new deal would be the best option for the two sides, but may not be realistic.

“Yeah, we are talking, but I don’t know how far they are going to get right now because of the situation,” Wallace said. “I know that they are working hard trying to take care of it, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter named the Ravens as a possible bidder if Wallace gets tendered, but many believe General Manager Ozzie Newsome – who covets draft picks – isn’t likely to give up a first-round selection for Wallace.

Benson’s Days With Bengals Appear Over

More news from the AFC North …

Bengals running back Cedric Benson, who broke the Ravens’ 40-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher in 2009, is unlikely to be back in Cincinnati next season, according to Fox Sports.

“We haven’t had any talks about a new deal, re-signing or anything like that to my knowledge,” Benson told Sirius XM NFL Radio, via FOX. “I’m not sure where things are laying up there in Cincinnati.”

The 29-year-old, and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, had a rough year as he was forced to serve a one-game suspension after an offseason arrest. His role was “greatly diminished” in his team’s final three games of the season as it relied more on the passing game, led by rookie Andy Dalton. He also hurt his case by fumbling the ball five times during the season, including twice in December.

Quick Hits

  • ProFootballTalk: Hines Ward pleads guilty to lesser charge in DUI case [Twitter]
  • Matt Ryan’s agent is probably keeping a close eye on the Flacco contract negotiations because his client also has an impressive regular-season record as a starter (43-19) and has a case to get as much money as Flacco gets. [ESPN]
  • If the Ravens signed Reggie Wayne, wouldn’t he just be a one-year solution? “I don’t see Wayne as a one-year band aid,” wrote Hensley. “I can see him lasting for another three seasons. Boldin might be in his final year with the Ravens. That’s why I see a veteran receiver like Wayne as a good fit for the Ravens.” [ESPN]
  • Should starting records count for quarterbacks? [ESPN]
  • The Ravens will focus on these positions on defense and offense as they scout college prospects this week at the combine. []

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