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The Ravens are currently a little over $3M under the 2009 Salary Cap.  This amount includes the recent restructures of the contracts of DT Kelly Gregg and OLB Jarret Johnson.


2.  RESTRUCTURES:  The contracts of Gregg and Johnson were recently restructured by the team to create some additional Salary Cap space.  These “simple” restructures were accomplished by reducing the players’ base salaries down to the veteran minimum and giving the player the difference as a Signing Bonus.  In neither case did the player receive any less money, he just received it in the form of a Bonus instead of weekly salary.  By doing so, the Ravens created just under $1.4M in additional Salary Cap space for 2009.


The exact reason for these restructures has not been disclosed, but a few possibilities exist:


·      The team felt that it needed a little additional Cap space heading into the end of the season for injury replacements in the event of an injury to a player on the 53-man roster.

·      Since the restructures occurred just before the trade deadline, the Ravens may have done so in anticipation of possibly making a trade.

·      A player (or two) is approaching the realization of a Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE) Incentive that, because this is the Last Capped Year, will immediately count against this year’s Cap (in the past, it would have been applied to next year’s Cap), so the team needed to create some Cap space to accommodate the Incentive(s).  As such, the team needed to create Cap space to stay under the Cap once the Incentive hit the team’s Cap.

·      The team was looking to sign a player to a contract extension and wanted to create some additional Cap space to do so. 


Again, the reasons for the moves having not been reported, but reading between the lines, it’s likely that concerns regarding the impact of the NLTBEs was the primary impetus for the restructures.  There were some media reports that the team was opening Cap space in order to target a contract extension for DT Haloti Ngata, but that seems unlikely given the type of contract Ngata will command and the relatively modest amount of Cap space created.  Simply put, they would need a whole lot more Cap space to get anything done with Ngata, plus, with the strong possibility that 2010 will be uncapped, it makes far more sense to get a deal of that magnitude done next year.


On the other hand, Joe Flacco, as a 1st round Quarterback, has a contract laden with incentives.  Given the numbers that he’s been putting up so far this season, it is very possible that he is close to – or on pace to – reach such an incentive and the team need to open up some space to accommodate those incentives when they hit the Cap.


Lastly, this year being the “Last Capped Year” under the
CBA, teams cannot move any excess Cap space into next year, as they have been allowed in the past, so it’s now a “use it or lose it” proposition.  As such, it’s unlikely that the team would have taken measures to created additional Cap space for this year unless they expected to need it and use it  Otherwise, it would make little sense to process the restructures (which add additional amounts onto future years’ Caps)  just to have an excess that is lost at the end of this year.  



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Brian McFarland

About Brian McFarland

Known on Ravens Message Boards as "B-more Ravor", Brian is a life-long Baltimorean and an avid fan of the Ravens and all Baltimore sports.  A PSL holder since 1998, Brian has garnered a reputation as a cap-guru because of his strange (actually warped) desire to wade through the intricacies of the NFL's salary cap and actually make sense of it for those of us who view it as inviting as IRS Tax Code.      Brian, who hails from Catonsville, MD and still resides there, is married and has two children. More from Brian McFarland


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