Boldin has been off the Ravens’ Salary Cap since March 12

Boldin SBXLVII

The idea that the Ravens’ Salary Cap has been adversely affected while awaiting WR Aquan Boldin’s return from Africa to take his physical with the 49ers, has been an issue that has greatly frustrated many Ravens fans.

As it turns out, it was never an issue at all and the initial reporting (from ProFootballTalk, and repeated, apparently without confirmation, by many others) that the trade wasn’t complete until Boldin passed his physical was totally inaccurate.

First, the official NFL transactions report disclosed the trade as being completed on March 12th and both teams announced the deal shortly thereafter.

This is important, because unlike free agent signings that are “agreed to terms, pending a physical,” those transactions don’t appear on the official transaction report until the player has passed the physical and signed his contract.  Only then is the transaction complete and not until that time does the signing show up on the official NFL transaction report.

And, yet, the Boldin trade was shown on the official transaction report on the day it was completed.

Shortly thereafter, Boldin was no longer listed on the Ravens roster on NFL.com or the Ravens’ website, but was now listed on the 49ers roster on NFL.com and the 49ers’ website.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, Boldin’s name disappeared from the Ravens Cap on the public access portion of the NFLPA’s website and was placed under the 49ers Cap.  This was probably the most compelling indication that the trade was seen as official, but without confirmation from the private access part of the NFLPA site, this all could not be totally confirmed.

Russell Street Report has now been able to confirm with two sources with access to official NFLPA records that Boldin is no longer being carried on the Ravens Salary Cap.

So, all of the consternation over the effect of Boldin remaining on the Ravens Cap pending his return from Africa was really over nothing – he was actually not on their Cap the entire time.

OK, so, what happens if Boldin were to actually fail his 49ers physical?

It’s pretty simple actually – the 49ers would void the trade and Boldin would be returned to the Ravens roster and Salary Cap.  If Boldin’s return were to put the Ravens over the Cap (which isn’t presently an issue), the Ravens would then have 24 hours to either release Boldin or do what was otherwise necessary to bring their Cap into compliance.

So, if it hasn’t already become clear, the Ravens lack of spending on the free agent market isn’t about the Cap space being held up by Boldin’s trade, but obviously more by the design of the front office and how they are planning their offseason makeover of the roster.

10 Raves on “Boldin has been off the Ravens’ Salary Cap since March 12

  1. Purple Raven on said:

    Though I’m sure it doesn’t happen often, I’m actually hoping that Boldin fails the physical, the Niners void the trade…..and ends up coming back to us. Ozzie can get us compliant with the cap space.

  2. hank on said:

    Who cares Steve and the rest of the ownesrs are killing the NFL with this stupid helmet rule. The NFL ia a joke now thanks to all the goof balls that run it and the owners too. I hope it go’s down the tubes!!!

  3. Ray on said:

    Boldin is too slow and will be slower next year. Love the guy and his heart but we are better off without him. I hope he wins another superbowl if we don’t win it. VONTA LEACH!!! I love the guy, but really he is still on the team? He is a part time player making $4M a year? We cannot find another blocking back for a lot less money? Another guy I love for his heart and toughness, but I bet we can find a replacement in college with 1 of our 3 6th round picks. $4M + our current cap space and we can get a M LB and a pass rusher.

  4. Thomas on said:

    Hey Brian!

    Your salary cap sheet seems to contain some mistakes.
    1) Pollard should count $2.75M and not $3.25M
    2) Is it correct to count Pollard AND 51 other players or should that be Pollard plus 50?
    3) Are you sure on the $800K cap charge of Harewood? Spotrac has him at $630K.

  5. Brian on said:

    No, those numbers are accurate.

    1. I would agree that Pollard should logically only count $2.75M, since the $500K roster bonus was never paid, but that’s apparently not how the NFLPA does it. They actually originally counted him at $2.75M, but they adjusted it to $3.25M. Apparently, the whole expected Cap number counts, even if the roster bonus was never paid. In the end, though, they’ll have the same Cap space, since as of 6/2, they’ll now get $2.5M in savings (instead of just $2M, if the RB was not now counting).

    2. The top 51 is for players currently under contract or tendered. Since Pollard is neither, he’s essentially dead money and counts in addition to the top 51.

    3. Yes, the $800K is correct for Harewood. Using Spotrac is a dicey proposition because they aren’t always the most accurate. They used to be really bad until they started stealing their info from here. Now, even though they never asked, they at least acknowledge this site as their source – http://www.spotrac.com/sources-affiliates/ . Still the numbers here are more accurate.

    4. The spreadsheets have the Ravens at $4,140,252 under, the same as recently published by the NFLPA here – https://www.nflplayers.com/reports/RunPublicReport.aspx?report=top51

  6. Thomas on said:

    Brian,

    Thanks for the explanation!
    I should know better by know than to question your numbers…

    You may want to look into the base salary vs. the cap charge on Omar Brown in the spreadsheet though.

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