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Disclaimer: Collecting Salary Cap data is truly an inexact science. It is especially so for a team like the Ravens, who rarely give out any contract details. As such, it is left to Pro Football 24×7 to obtain the details of contracts from various local media sources and football-related websites (ESPN, KFFL, NFLPA, Scout.com, Yahoo Sports, USAToday, etc.).
SALARY CAP UPDATE: As of midnight, February 28, 2008, all teams were required to be under the $116.729M Salary Cap (there was a league-wide increase in the Cap of $729K). Recently, The Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens were only $3.3M under that figure. However, the numbers compiled by Pro Football 24×7 have the Ravens at $4.731M under the Salary Cap as of February 28th. This number appears to be a more accurate figure based on the most recent media report of available Cap space throughout the league.1
The only change to the Ravensâ€™ Salary Cap status since that date is Mondayâ€™s signing of Brendon Ayanbadejo. Based on media reports and NFLPA records, Ayanbadejo received a 4-year contract with a $1.9M bonus and a 2008 base salary of $615K, leaving a 2008 Cap number of $1.09M. As such, this amount will be deducted from the teamâ€™s available Cap space, but since only the highest 51 cap numbers count against the Cap at this time of the year, there will be a corresponding credit of $370K against the Cap because Ayanbadejoâ€™s Cap number will replace what had previously been the 51st highest Cap number.
Based on the above, then, the Ravens should have approximately $4.011M in Cap space.
ROLLE: Earlier this week, several media outlets reported that Ravens Cornerback, Samari Rolle, had agreed to restructure his contract because of his health situation. According to Rolle, the Ravens were very fair to him and that he still would still be able to make the same money ($3.9M base salary) as long as he stayed healthy and played. As described, this sounded like a change to an incentive-laden deal, but no further details were given.
Today, NFLPA records changed to reflect a reduction in Rolleâ€™s base salary from $3.9M to $1.4M. While the exact details are still unknown, this reduction of $2.5M indicates that his base salary was most certainly turned into incentives based on playing time. The impact of this restructure remains unknown, because the incentive thresholds are still undisclosed.
How this restructure will affect the Cap will depend on whether the incentives are categorized as â€œlikely to be earnedâ€ (LTBE) or â€œnot likely to be earnedâ€ (NLTBE). LTBE incentives are incentives that will count against the present Cap because the statistical criteria were met by the player in the prior year. If, however, the player does not reach the incentive, then the amount charged against the present Cap will become a credit against the following yearâ€™s Cap.
If the incentive is based on criteria that were not met in the prior year, then it is deemed to be NLTBE and will not count against the present yearâ€™s Cap. If the incentive is met, it will then be charged against the following yearâ€™s Cap.
Last season, Rolle only played in 6 games, with 5 starts, so it is likely that the bulk of the incentives will probably be deemed â€œnot likely to be earnedâ€, since the incentives would likely have to do with playing in more than 6 games. As such, the incentives would not count against this yearâ€™s Cap, so this restructure has probably created some additional Cap space for the team.
Exactly how much, will depend on the exact terms of the incentives.