About Brian McFarland

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.

What’s the difference between Exclusive & Non-Exclusive Franchise Tags?

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This week has been consumed by the question of whether the Ravens will be able to re-sign QB Joe Flacco to a long-term contract or whether they will be forced to use the Franchise Tag to retain their rights over him.  It’s likely a discussion that will continue for several more weeks as well.  If Flacco doesn’t receive a long-term deal over the next couple of week, the discussion then will turn to which Franchise Tag the team should use – the “non-exclusive” Tag or the “exclusive” Tag. It appears...

Ravens 2013 Free Agency Preview

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THE MONEY CLIP – RAVENS’ SALARY CAP ANALYSIS Ravens 2013 Free Agency Preview Super Bowl Champs! Every offseason should start off like that. The 2012 season was a season of great highs and great lows for the team and its fans.  A promising 9-2 start was followed by a 3-game losing streak (and losses in 4 of the last 5 regular season games), but the team then turned it on in the post-season and rode the emotional wave of Ray Lewis’ impending retirement all the way to a World Championship....

SALARY CAP NOTES: Graham and Oher Cash In

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Based on their playing time in 2012, CB Corey Graham and OT Michael Oher saw their 2013 base salaries increased for 2013 due to playing-time escalators.  Graham, who was signed for his Special Teams prowess, became a starter after injuries to starting CB Lardarius Webb and former first round pick, Jimmy Smith.  Making the most of this opportunity – and becoming one of the biggest unsung heroes of the season – Graham saw his base salary increase by $250K from $1.8M to $2.05M. Graham’s 2013 Cap number will be $2.65M....

The Salary Cap Impact of Ray Lewis’ Retirement

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While the emotional impact of today’s news that Ray Lewis is going to retire after this season has yet to truly sink in, the 2013 Salary Cap ramifications are much easier to discern. For Salary Cap purposes, the retirement of a player is treated exactly the same way as the release of a player – his Salary Cap number is reduced by any remaining unaccounted for yearly bonus prorations. In 2013, Lewis, in the 5th year of the 7-year contract he signed in March of 2009, was scheduled to have a...

RAVENS SALARY CAP: Tagging Flacco could mean goodbye for some

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Last week, our 2013 offseason preview was posted and it has raised questions about how exactly the Ravens are going to create enough Salary Cap space to use the franchise tag on QB Joe Flacco and/or do what is going to be necessary to address other areas of need. One of the chief avenues for creating Cap space is the release or retirement of players.  The chart below will help answer some of those questions. If the Ravens intend to, or are forced to, use the Franchise Tag on QB...

Ravens 2013 Free Agency Preview

NOTE: This is an early preview of the Ravens’ 2013 roster and offseason preview. Once the 2013 offseason begins, a more thorough preview and Salary Cap projection will be published. PLAYERS UNDER CONTRACT: The Ravens presently have the following 37 players under contract for 2013 (with base salaries indicated): QBs (1): Tyrod Taylor ($555K) RBs (3): Ray Rice ($1M), Bernard Pierce ($480K), Vonta Leach ($3M) WRs (7): Anquan Boldin ($6M), Torrey Smith ($683K), Jacoby Jones ($3M + $1M Roster Bonus), Tandon Doss ($555K), LaQuan Williams ($555K), Deonte Thompson ($480K), Tommy...

SALARY CAP ANALYSIS: Signs point to franchise tag for Flacco

Finding a value for a new contract for Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco has always been a problem. Unfortunately, for Flacco and the Ravens, there’s not a really appropriate comparison contract in existence. Flacco certainly deserves to be paid more than guys like Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (7 years/$62M/$24M guaranteed) and Cardinals’ QB Kevin Kolb (6 years/$63M/$12M guaranteed), but it’s questionable whether he deserves to be part of the $100M club, which includes QBs like Michael Vick (6 years/$100M/32M guaranteed), Philip Rivers (7 years/$98.5M/$38M guaranteed) and Eli Manning (7 years/$107M/$35M guaranteed)....

Is Jason Babin a fit for the Baltimore Ravens?

When the Philadelphia Eagles unexpectedly released DE Jason Babin yesterday, rumors immediately began to swirl around Baltimore that the Ravens might possibly be interested in acquiring the pass rusher who has tallied the 3rd most sacks in the NFL since 2010 (including 18 in 2011). While Babin is more of a 4-3 DE and while the Ravens’ pass rush has seemed to rebound with the return of LB Terrell Suggs, the team could still probably use a guy like Babin, even if just as a situational pass rusher. Since the...

Could Ray Lewis be a salary cap casualty in 2013?

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Ray Lewis’ Cap Impact Clouds his Future with Club With this week’s news that Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis is lost for the season with a triceps injury, the immediate question that comes to mind is whether or not Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys was not only Lewis’ last game of the year, but also possibly the last game of his career. Or, perhaps, it’s just the last game of Lewis’ career as a Raven? In 2013, Lewis will be in the 5th year of a 7-year contract he signed...

How Does The NFL’s Waiver System Work?

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As the third week of the NFL preseason comes to a close, the time has come for teams to make their first round of roster cuts. Teams have until 4:00 p.m. on Monday to reduce their present rosters of 90 players down to 75. When viewing the NFL waiver wire, there are 4 designations that come into play, each with different ramifications.  Often, these designations are confused when reported in the press or simply labeled with the generic moniker “cut”, but there are different ramifications of each designation. 1.  Players...

NFL Glossary

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Accrued Season – A player earns an Accrued Season if he is on the team’s 53-man roster, Injured Reserve (IR), or Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) for 6 or more games in any one season. Compensatory Draft Picks – Compensatory Draft Picks are awarded to teams who have suffered a net loss of Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs).  On occasion, a team that has lost and gain the same amount of UFAs will receive a 7th round Comp Pick, but only if the quality of UFAs lost greatly outweighs the quality...

McKinnie’s pay cut – more than meets the eye?

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I’ve been trying to track down some more info on this, but if Bryant McKinnie’s $1M incentive is truly based on 50% playing time only (i.e. there’s not some other qualifier), then that $1M would still count against the Cap this year.  So, if the reported information is correct, this move was not done for Salary Cap purposes. Basically, incentives are either “likely to be earned” or “not likely to be earned”.  If they are LTBE, they count against the present Cap (and if unearned, are credited against the following...

Practice Squad Rules: Who’s Eligible?

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With the final cutdown date looming for every team around the NFL, over 700 players are facing the prospects of being unemployed by tonight. However, for 256 of them, that unemployment will be replaced by tenuous, and often temporary, existence that is an NFL’s Practice Squad. The first step, though, is that the player must be released.  Teams must have their active rosters reduced to 53 players by 9:00 p.m. tonight.  Other teams may claim a player, in which case that player is added to his new team’s 53-man roster....

Ravens likely to be very tight to the cap on Opening Night

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At this time of year, everyone is trying to guess at who is going to make their favorite team’s final roster.  For the Ravens, the roster looks pretty set, but there are always a couple of surprises. For this article, we’ll propose a likely roster the intent of which is to gauge where the Ravens’ Salary Cap can be expected to be rather than as a true forecast of the final 53 man roster. During the regular season, all players – no matter whether they are on the 53-man roster,...

NFL CUTS: How does the league’s waiver system work?

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How Does The NFL’s Waiver System Work? As the third week of the NFL preseason comes to a close, the time has come for teams to make their first round of roster cuts.  Teams have until 4:00 p.m. on Monday to reduce their present rosters of 90 players down to 75. When viewing the NFL waiver wire, there are 4 designations that come into play, each with different ramifications.  Often, these designations are confused when reported in the press or simply labeled with the generic moniker “cut”, but there are...

Ravens to receive 4 Compensatory Picks in 2013

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The Ravens are expected to receive four Compensatory Draft Picks for the 2013 draft given their free agent losses. This would push the team’s total number of draft picks to 11 come April, 2013   Under NFL rules four is the maximum number of Compensatory Draft Picks permitted.   This offseason six of the Ravens’ unrestricted free agents signed by other clubs qualified.  Those six players matched up against two unrestricted free agent signings by the Ravens (CB Corey Graham ~ Bears and Sean Considine ~ Arizona) net out to...

Will Cundiff’s contract save or cost him his job?

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With each daily training camp report, the legend of Justin Tucker continues to grow.  By all accounts, the rookie placekicker appears to be having a great camp and has outshined incumbent PK Billy Cundiff.  While Cundiff has apparently also had a good camp, the memory of his last kick in New England will forever taint fan perception of him and does raise legitimate questions about his ability to make clutch kicks. The Ravens’ brass is obviously less swayed by emotion, but the camp performance of Tucker likely has gotten their...

How the McBean injury will impact Ravens cap

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Anyone who watched Thursday’s Ravens’ Preseason Opener against Atlanta likely saw the ankle injury suffered by DT Ryan McBean.  It wasn’t a pleasant thing to see and the resulting injury was a dislocated fracture which will require surgery.  More than likely McBean will be place on Injured Reserve (IR), thus ending his season. Presently, the Ravens are $3,123,858 under the Salary Cap, but under the Rule of 51 that applies during the offseason, that number only includes the top 51 Cap numbers on the team.  Once the season starts, however,...

Rice’s new deal could handcuff Ravens in the future

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So, they got it done! There’s nothing like a deadline to spur action and get the parties to be serious about getting a deal done. Following the pattern set with Haloti Ngata last year and Terrell Suggs in 2009, the Ravens again waited until the late in the 11th hour to get a deal done with star RB Ray Rice. Rice’s base deal is reported to be 5 years, $35M, with a Signing Bonus of $15M.  Another $5M is available via a one-time escalator.     The deal breaks down as...

Can the Ravens and Ray Rice agree on market value by Monday?

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By now, everyone knows that the Ravens need to reach a long-term deal with their Franchise Player, RB Ray Rice, by 4:00 EST on Monday.  If they fail to do so, the league’s CBA prohibits them from signing him to a long-term before the end of the league year (which is next March).  That would mean that they would either have to again use their Franchise Tag on him next year or allow him to become an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) before possibly re-signing him. There have been a lot...