According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Ravens will have a “Year One Rookie Allocation” of $5.517M. This is the team’s “rookie cap” (as it was referred to prior to the 2011 CBA) and encompasses the 2013 Cap numbers of the Ravens’ 10 draft picks.
Once signed, the estimated Cap number for each player is as follows:
Matt Elam: $1.23M
Arthur Brown: $646K
Brandon Williams: $534K
John Simon: $502K
Kyle Juszczyk: $480K
Ricky Wagner: $441K
Kapron Lewis-Moore: $427K
Ryan Jensen: $425K
Aaron Mellette: $416K
Marc Anthony: $416K
Under the Rule of 51 that applies at this time of the year, only the Cap numbers of those players that fall amongst the team’s top 51 Cap numbers will count against the team’s overall Cap at this time of the offseason.
Presently, the bottom 5 Cap numbers for the Ravens are:
As you can see, many of the draft picks will not count amongst the top 51. So, while the team will need to fit all 10 of the draft picks into its $5.517M Rookie Cap, it will not need $5.517M in overall Cap space to accommodate the signing of all of its draft picks.
So, based on the above numbers, only the first four (4) picks will have Cap numbers of greater than $491K, which is the team’s 48th highest Cap number. As such, only those four will be part of the top 51 and, under the Rule of 51, will replace the Cap numbers of the players who are currently 48th-51st on the team’s Cap. Only the bonus prorations for the players who are removed will remain to count against the Salary Cap.
The remaining six (6) draft picks would not count amongst the top 51 Cap numbers, so the base salaries of those players, while counting against the Rookie Cap, will not count against the team’s overall Salary Cap. So, for those draft picks that land outside of the top 51, only the player’s 2013 signing bonus proration will count.
So, to calculate the exact impact of the Rookie Cap on the team’s overall Cap, the amount of the base salaries -$405K – for each of the lower 6 draft picks (totally $2.43M) can be deducted from the overall number of $5.517M. Then, for the top four draft picks, while their Cap numbers do count against the overall Cap (by virtue of being part of the top 51 Cap numbers), they replace the four players who were formerly part of the top 51, so the base salaries ($480K) of the four being removed (totaling $1.92M) will be deducted from the team’s overall Cap.
When those two numbers ($2.43M and $1.92M) are deducted from the team’s Rookie Cap ($5.517M), the true impact of the signing of the team’s rookies – $1.167M – is revealed.
For a more thorough explanation of how the rookie Cap works, click here.