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.

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...

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,...

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...

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...

NFL SALARY CAP FAQ

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NFL SALARY CAP FAQ How is the Salary Cap calculated? The Salary Cap is based on a complicated calculation that measures the league’s revenue (or certain revenues) and then apportions around 48% of that revenue to player costs.  That player cost number is comprised of two components – (1) player benefits and (2) player salaries.  The player salaries portion is what we are talking about when we refer to the Salary Cap.  For instance, in 2011, the overall Player Cost number was $142M, while the Salary Cap was $120.375M.  The...

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...

Details of Ravens’ Rookie Contracts

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Under the CBA of 2011, all rookies receive 4-year contracts, generally with a signing bonus and often with minimum base salaries set for each year of the deal.  While 1st and 2nd round picks may have base salaries of more than the minimum in years 2 through 4 of their deals, even those players will almost always receive the rookie minimum base salary during their first year.  For 2012, the minimum base salary for a rookie is $390K.  For Salary Cap purposes, the bonus received by the player is prorated...

SALARY CAP: Rogue owners prove costly for Ravens

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Earlier today, Special Arbitrator Stephen Burbank dismissed the appeal filed by the Redskins and Cowboys regarding the Cap penalties imposed by the league for their violation of the spirit of the Uncapped Year rules.  It has now been announced, via a joint statement from the Redskins and Cowboys that the teams are conceding the issue and will not pursue any other remedies that they may have.  So, that ends it.    The Redskins were docked $36M for restructuring the contracts of DT Albert Haynesworth and CB DeAngelo Hall and basically accelerating...

SALARY CAP UPDATE: The impact of the Ravens’ rookie signings

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The Ravens are the first NFL team to sign all of their draft picks prior to today’s opening of rookie camp – and that’s something that is a bit out of the norm for the club. None of the picks is a first round selection and clearly that helps. There’s usually not as much haggling with drafted players beyond the first round. More than likely there was a greater sense of urgency with signing their first pick, Courtney Upshaw. Getting the former Crimson Tide linebacker in camp and taking as...

Salary cap implications of Terrell Suggs’ injury

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With today’s news that Terrell Suggs, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, may miss the entire 2012 season due to an Achilles injury, many are left wondering – what impact this will have on the Ravens’ Salary Cap? The Cap implications will hinge on the extent of Suggs’ injury and exactly how the Ravens choose to address Suggs’ roster status. If Suggs’ own comments are to be believed, he expects to be ready to return in October or November.  If that’s the case, the Ravens have 3 options:...

Ravens’ Rookie Salary Cap Set at $4.318M – What’s it mean?

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According to Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times and Ravens 24×7, the Ravens’ “Year One Rookie Allocation”, otherwise known as the team’s “Rookie Salary Cap”, has been set at $4.318M.  The Rookie Salary Cap is often referred to as “a cap within a cap” because it limits the amount that teams can allocate to their rookies in the year they were drafted.  But, beyond that, there is a lot of confusion about the Rookie Salary Cap and exactly how it works.  Even some in the media do not fully...

An Explanation of how the Rookie Salary Cap Really Works

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Sometime during the weeks follow this year’s NFL draft, the league will announce each team’s “Year One Rookie Allocation” (formerly known as the “Rookie Pool” or “Rookie Salary Cap”).  This is an oft misunderstood number, because while it is part of the team’s Salary Cap, it does not have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the team’s overall Salary Cap.         The Rookie Salary Cap is often referred to as “a cap within a cap” because it limits the amount that teams can allocate to their rookies in the year they...

THE BUSINESS OF RAVENS’ FOOTBALL

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The news of the day for Ravens’ fans on Thursday was the team’s new deal with Restricted Free Agent Cornerback, Lardarius Webb.  Webb reportedly has signed a 5-year extension, which would keep him under contract to the Ravens for the next 6 years.  As the terms of the deal are starting to come out, Webb will receive a $10M bonus paid upon signing and a $5M option bonus in 2013.  Webb will make $18M over the first two years.  Based on the media reports, it appears that Webb’s deal will...

SALARY CAP UPDATE: Ravens have $5.054M remaining cap dollars

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MATT BIRK’S CONTRACT:  On Monday, Ravens’ Center Matt Birk passed his physical and signed his new 3-year, $8.525M contract.  Birk received a $2.1M signing bonus with a base salary of $925K in 2012.   He will have a base salary of $2.75M in both 2013 and 2014.  Given Birk’s age, this contract is basically a one-year, $3.025M contract.  In both 2010 and 2011, Birk had a base salary of $3M, so this deal is in line with his past pay scale, but because of their Salary Cap issues, the Ravens needed...

Ravens cap space swells to $7.7 M after Cowboys, Redskins violations

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The 2012 free agent frenzy is set to begin at 4:00 this afternoon when the 2012 league year begins.  At that time, the Ravens are expected to be just under $7.7M under the 2012 Salary Cap.  This number will include the 40 players presently under contract, the franchise tender for RB Ray Rice, the 3 RFA tenders (Webb, C. Williams, D. Ellerbe) and the 7 ERFA tenders (Cox, Gorrer, C. Williams, McClellan, Kindle, Boren, Bynes).  As reported last evening, the Ravens tendered 3 of their RFAs – CB Lardarius Webb...

Restructuring could create more cap space for the Ravens

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One way that the Baltimore Ravens could create additional Salary Cap space is through restructuring the contracts of some of its more highly paid players.  The Ravens don’t have a lot of ideal candidates for restructures, but could look to restructure the contracts of LB Terrell Suggs, G Marshall Yanda or DT Haloti Ngata.  First, though, a little explanation of what “restructuring” usually means.  About 95% of the time that it is reported that a player has “restructured” his deal it does not mean that the player has taken a pay cut...

SALARY CAP UPDATE: Ravens estimated to be $5.945M under cap

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CAP SPACE:  Now that the NFL has finally announced that the league-wide Salary Cap for 2012 will be $120.6M, it has become easier to estimate the Baltimore Ravens’ expected Salary Cap space for the beginning of the 2012 league year. As explained in our last article, the Ravens are able to increase their team Salary Cap by carrying over $5.831M of unused 2011 Salary Cap space and can borrow an additional $1.5M in Cap space from future Caps.  These additions will give the team adjusted team Salary Cap of a...