SALARY CAP UPDATE: Ravens have $5.054M remaining cap dollars

Salary Cap SALARY CAP UPDATE: Ravens have $5.054M remaining cap dollars

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MATT BIRK’S CONTRACT:  On Monday, Ravens’ Center Matt Birk passed his physical and signed his new 3-year, $8.525M contract.  Birk received a $2.1M signing bonus with a base salary of $925K in 2012.   He will have a base salary of $2.75M in both 2013 and 2014. 

Given Birk’s age, this contract is basically a one-year, $3.025M contract.  In both 2010 and 2011, Birk had a base salary of $3M, so this deal is in line with his past pay scale, but because of their Salary Cap issues, the Ravens needed to use a signing bonus (and added 2 years to the deal) to lessen the impact of his signing on the 2012 Cap.   

Assuming he retires after this season, the team will have to carry $1.4M in dead Cap space against the 2013 Salary Cap (or $700K in each 2013 and 2014, if he is released/retires after June 1).  The team obviously feels that this number is palatable enough and offset by the need for Birk’s leadership and experience for one more season.

Birk’s cap figures are as follows:

Year

Signing
Bonus

Base
Salary

Cap
Charge

2012

2,100,000

925,000

1,625,000

2013

2,750,000

3,450,000

2014

2,750,000

3,450,000

Given Birk’s age, this contract is basically a one-year, $3.025M contract.  In both 2010 and 2011, Birk had a base salary of $3M, so this deal is in line with his past pay scale, but because of their Salary Cap issues, the Ravens needed to use a signing bonus (and added 2 years to the deal) to lessen the impact of his signing on the 2012 Cap.   

Assuming he retires after this season, the team will have to carry $1.4M in dead Cap space against the 2013 Salary Cap (or $700K in each 2013 and 2014, if he is released/retires after June 1).  The team obviously feels that this number is palatable enough and offset by the need for Birk’s leadership and experience for one more season.  

PRESENT SALARY CAP SPACE:  The Ravens have an adjusted Salary Cap of $128.128M.  This includes the $120.6M league-wide Salary Cap, the 2011 carryover of $5.831M, the league-wide Cap adjustment of $1.643M for the Skins/Cowboys penalty, the $1.5M borrowed from future Caps and a debit of $1.446M for the 2011 incentives carryover. 

Including the 3 RFAs and 6 ERFAs that have been tendered, Ray Rice’s franchise tag and the 42 players that are currently under contract, the team has a total Cap commitment of $123.463M.  This leaves the team at $4.664M under the Salary Cap.  

This is the number that has been reported recently as the team’s Cap space.   

However, at this time of the year, only the top 51 “salaries” (and all bonus prorations and dead money) count against the Salary Cap.  Because of this, the lowest salaried player ($390K) will be removed from the team’s Cap, leaving them with an actual Cap number of $5.054M.  

Link to Salary Cap Spreadsheet 

THE REST OF THE OFFSEASON:  The team is still hopefully of re-signing LB Jameel McClain, but other than that, no major Free Agent signings are expected.  Given that lack of available Salary Cap space, that is understandable, since the team will need some of that Salary Cap space for signing its draft picks and will need some available Cap space to carry into the season for injury replacement signings.   

At some point, the team may have to consider restructuring a contract or two to create some additional Cap space, but they have obviously been reluctant to do so to date.   

Reaching long term contract extensions for RB Ray Rice and QB Joe Flacco may provide them with some Cap relief (depending on the structure of the deal), but deals of that magnitude – especially for Flacco – can often take some time.  

Also, as pointed out by Tony Lombardi HERE yesterday, the team may be holding onto its Cap space in order to protect against on Offer Sheet for RFA CB Lardarius Webb (or, hopefully, a long term extension for Webb).  The Ravens only have so many ways to create additional Cap space, and if they push their Cap to the limit, it might entice another team to make an offer to him and make it harder for the team to create enough Cap space to match that offer. 

 

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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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