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.

Breaking down the early reports on Flacco’s new deal

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So, they got it done! Joe Flacco and the Ravens have hammered out a long term deal to avoid the dreaded Franchise Tag and provide the team with some much needed Salary Cap space for 2013. At 1:30 this afternoon, Flacco will sign the deal that makes him – for now – the highest paid player in NFL history. The team will hold a celebratory press conference to coronate Flacco as their “elite” cornerstone quarterback. There is no question the deal is huge and that it had to get done,...

SALARY CAP NOTES: League increases cap to $123M for 2013

Bundles of Paper Currency
Thursday was a very busy day around the NFL and a lot of the action and announcements have a direct impact on the Ravens’ Salary Cap and the team’s pursuit of a long-term contract for Quarterback Joe Flacco. EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE TAG AMOUNT:  The first bit of news – good news, at that – was the disclosure that Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has agreed to restructure his contract.  Like Tom Brady’s restructure earlier in the week, this restructure operated to reduce the Exclusive Franchise Tag tender amount by $497K.  This reduction,...

The Drama Builds in Flacco Contract Talks

Ray Rice, Joe Flacco
Will the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco be able to reach an agreement on a long-term contract and ease the fears of many Ravens fans? Real or not, storm clouds appear to be forming. In the world of negotiations, it can be expected that things will at times turn sour and can often look very bleak leading up to the negotiating deadline. But, the adage “Deadlines spur actions” applies. Neither side is going to make their “best” offer until they have to, and that “best offer” often doesn’t comes until...

More restructures reduce potential Exclusive Tag cost for Flacco

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Last week, Patriots QB Tom Brady restructured his contract to lower his 2013 Salary Cap number in order to help his team create some additional Salary Cap space.  Brady’s restructure removed him from the top 5 2013 Cap numbers for quarterbacks and caused an $880K reduction in the tender amount for the Exclusive Franchise Tag.  As of that time, the amount of the Exclusive Tag was $19.583M. Today, news broke that the long-awaited Ben Roethlisberger restructure was also completed.  According to reports, Roethlisberger’s restructure reduced his $19.595M Cap number by...

SALARY CAP: Tom Brady’s new deal could help Ravens but hurt Flacco

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With reports circulating that Patriots QB Tom Brady has agreed to a contract extension that will lower his 2013 Cap number, the big question for Ravens fans is what impact this development will have on the negotiations between Joe Flacco and the team? As far as negotiations on a long term deal go, the answer is – probably very little.  The differences between Flacco’s situation – 28 years old and pending free agent – and Brady’s – 36 years old this summer – make it such that it’s hard to...

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

Corey Graham v Denver Divisional Playoff
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

Bundles of Paper Currency
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...
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