Now that first-round pick, Matt Elam, has finally agreed to terms, the Ravens pre-Training Camp Salary Cap – barring another move over the next couple of days – appears to be set. With Elam now in the fold, the Ravens are set to enter Training Camp with $5,299,459 in available Salary Cap space.
That sounds like a decent amount of Cap space, but that number is a bit misleading because, under the Rule of 51 that applies at this time of the league year, only the highest 51 Salary Cap numbers on the team (and all dead money from players who have been released/retired/traded) presently count against the Cap.
Once the season starts, however, all players – those on the 53-man rosters, Injured Reserve (IR), Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) and the Practice Squad (PS) – must be accounted for within the team’s Salary Cap. Once those players are added in, that $5,299,459 will be greatly reduced.
So, in order to try and project the team’s season opening Cap space, it first takes a projected roster. For illustration purposes, the following is a guess at the Ravens season opening roster:
“LOCKS” – 40 (with Cap Number):
Flacco ($6.8M), TTaylor ($581,327)
Rice ($5.75M), Pierce ($618,986), Juszczyk ($480,146)
Smith ($924,336), Jones ($4.9M), Doss ($658,140)
Pitta ($2.023M), Dickson ($1.323M)
McKinnie ($2.5M), Osemele ($760,425), Gradkowski ($601,106), Yanda ($7.45M), Oher ($4.955M), Wagner ($441,140)
Ngata ($11.5M), Art Jones ($2.023M), Canty ($1,506,666), Spears ($1.2M), McPhee ($591,140), Williams ($533,750)
Suggs ($13.02M), Dumervil ($2.5M), McClain ($4.2M), A.Brown ($646,224), D.Smith ($1.125M), Upshaw ($1,203,795), Simon ($501,413)
Webb ($), J.Smith ($), Graham ($), Brown ($591,140)
Elam ($1,230,364), Huff ($1.35M), Ihedigbo ($620K), Thompson ($442,205), O.Brown ($112,941)
Tucker ($480K), Koch ($2.5M), Cox ($755K)
NOTE: Christian Thompson is suspended for the first four games of the year; Omar Brown is listed above to replace him for those four games.
PROJECTED BALANCE OF ROSTER – 13 – with (Cap Number; Dead Money if released):
Allen ($555K; $0)
D.Reed ($880K; $250K), Thompson ($480,133; $133), Streeter ($503,133; $23,133)
Bajema ($555K; $0)
Shipley ($480K; $0), Harewood ($800K; $320K)
Tyson ($491,898; $11,898)
McClellan ($555K; $0), Bynes ($480K; $0)
Jackson ($514,015; $34,015), C.Johnson ($620K; $35K), Anthony ($416,474, $11,474)
Kapron-Lewis ($427,058; $22,058), M.Brown ($406,666; $1,666)
Practice Squad (8):
8 players x $6000/per week x 17 weeks = $816K
Now, there is little chance the roster will end up looking like the above example, but for illustration purposes, the above roster would leave the Ravens with $3,463,459 in Salary Cap space. This estimate does not, however, account for the inevitable Training Camp injuries that will lead to players being placed on IR. Once that happens, the injured player will continue to count against the team’s Salary Cap and the player signed to replace him will be added to the Cap and reduce the projected $3,463,459 in Cap space.
Again, the above roster was just a best guess. Players who didn’t make the above list, but may make the team are as follows:
ROSTER POSSIBILITIES – (with Dead Money due to release; Cap number if makes team):
Hanie ($0; $555K)
Rainey ($0; $480K), Berry ($0; $405K)
Mellett ($11,474; $416,474), L.Williams ($168; $555,168)
Furstenburg ($3,333; $408,333)
Reid ($140,810; $695,810), Jensen ($19,670; $424,670), Mims ($0;$480K), Cornell ($0; $405K), Devey ($3,333; $408,333), Gaines ($3,000; $408K)
Cody ($280K; $910K), Pericak ($4,500; $409,500)
Hall ($0; $480K), Hamilton ($0; $405K), Carr ($0; $405K)
Lee ($0; $405K)
Levine ($0; $405K)
So, if any of the above players made the final roster in place of a player on one of the first two lists, his Cap number will replace the Cap number of the player not making the team and his dead money will be replaced by the dead money from the player not making the team.
If, on the other hand, the player makes the team due to another player being placed on IR, then the new player’s Cap number will be added to the team’s Cap, while his dead money will be removed from the Cap.
So, given the final make-up of the rosters, and barring any roster additions, the starting point for the Ravens’ in-season Salary Cap should be in the $3.5M range, pending the cost of injury replacement.
If the team doesn’t make any other moves and doesn’t have a lot of injuries, any excess Cap space at the end of the year can be carried over into 2014.