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Ravens have busy first day of Free Agency

Salary Cap Ravens have busy first day of Free Agency

Posted in Salary Cap
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Yesterday was a busy day for the Ravens, albeit, with mixed results.  The Ravens did get a lot of work done in shaping their roster and getting their Salary Cap in order, but they lost out on their No. 1 target, when linebacker Dannell Ellerbe signed a 5-year, $35M contract to join the Miami Dolphins.

While that contract was certainly more than the Ravens were willing to spend – and a somewhat shocking amount for a player with less than a season’s worth of starts over his 4 NFL seasons – it doesn’t change the fact that Ellerbe’s departure leaves a huge hole in the middle of the Ravens’ defense.

Several hours later, though, the Ravens did make a move to bolster their defense by signing former New York Giants’ Defensive Lineman Chris Canty, to a 3-year, $8M contract, which included a signing bonus of $2M.  Canty, who was released by the Giants last week, should be a solid addition to the line and hopefully provide the consistency that has been lacking since last offseason’s defection of Cory Redding to the Colts.

Based on the contract details reported by Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Canty’s contract breakdown is as follows:



The Ravens also re-signed four players, three of whom were pending Restricted Free Agents (RFA) to contracts for 2013.  The signings of the pending RFAs allowed the team to avoid having to use the low RFA tender of $1.323M on each player and lessened the Salary Cap impact of the player’s spot on the roster.

Again, based on the contract details reported by Aaron Wilson, those contracts breakdown as follows:

David Reed:  Wide Receiver David Reed reportedly signed a 2-year, $2.5M contract with a $500K Signing Bonus.  Based on the base salaries as listed on the NFLPA website, it would appear that there is an additional $640K in incentives or escalators involved in the deal.

Reed’s Salary Cap charges are as follows:

With Reed’s 2013 Cap number now set at $880K, the Ravens were able to save $443K versus what Reed would have cost under the lowest RFA tender ($1.323M). 

Morgan Cox:  Long Snapper Morgan Cox reportedly signed a 2-year, $1.61M contract with a $250K Signing Bonus.

Cox’s Salary Cap charges are as follows:

With Cox’s 2013 Cap number now set at $880K, the Ravens were able to save $568K versus what Cox would have cost under the lowest RFA tender ($1.323M).

Ramon Harewood:  Reports are that Offensive Lineman Ramon Harewood has signed a one-year deal to remain with the Ravens.  So far, no details of the deal have been disclosed, but it’s likely that Harewood received a 2013 base salary of $630K and a small Signing Bonus.  As with Reed and Cox, the Ravens will have saved Salary Cap space by signing Harewood to this lesser deal.

James Ihedigbo:  Safety James Ihedigbo was an Unrestricted Free Agent who was re-signed to a one-year deal.  No details of his contract have yet to be disclosed, but given his back-up status, it is likely that Ihedigbo was signed under the Minimum Salary Benefit rule.  This rule was created to benefit veteran players by reducing the Salary Cap impact of their higher minimum base salaries, as opposed to the lower salaries of younger players.  Under the MBS, Ihedigbo’s base salary of $715K will only count $555K against the Cap, plus whatever small (up to $65K) Signing Bonus he may have received.


With the above players re-signed and all of the other RFAs and ERFAs now tendered, the Ravens currently have 64 players under contract or tendered.

Under the Rule of 51, which governs the Salary Cap at this time of the year, the Ravens currently have approximately $9M in available Salary Cap space.  This number is still subject to the incentive carryover from 2012, a number that hasn’t yet been publicly disclosed.  This adjustment could end up creating additional Cap space or could negate some of the present Cap Space, but it is not anticipated to make a sizeable difference in whichever direction.


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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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