Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Ravens have signed veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs to a four-year contract extension.

A first-round pick of the Ravens in 2003, Suggs expressed his feelings Monday at a news conference on the new deal that runs through 2018.

"I'm truly honored that I get to be a Raven for life," Suggs said.

Suggs was heading into the final year of a six-year, $62.5 million contract he signed in 2009. The new deal is expected to significantly lower his $12.4 million salary cap figure for the 2014 season.

"What it does, it just allows us to have the opportunity to pursue some of our own guys but also be prepared when free agency opens up March 11, if there's players that are attractive to us, then we can pursue them," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

Suggs is the organization's longest tenured player. He has a franchise-record 94 1/2 sacks to go along with 27 forced fumbles, seven interceptions, 45 passes defensed and 667 total tackles.

Last year, Suggs had 80 total tackles and 10 sacks in his first full season since suffering a partial tear of his Achilles tendon prior to the 2012 regular season.

"I can't thank this city, and these fans enough... The fans really spoke and they wanted me to stay here," Suggs said.

The 31-year-old Suggs is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.