Leach saves $3 million ($7 total)
Williams saves $1.2 million ($8.2)
McClain saves $1.8 ($10)
Birk saves $2 ($12)
Lewis saves $3.7 ($15.7)
Ayanabdejo saves $940k ($16.6)
What you have to understand is that is that trimming these 7 contracts off the roster doesn't save the $16.6 though, because you still have to fill their seven spots on the rule of 51 with another player. If you estimate that each of those players will make $500k, that's $3.5 right there. So the savings aren't quite as great. It's not as if dead money occupies one of the 51 slots.
That's why it might not make a ton of sense to cut Ayanbadejo. You really are only saving $400k.
That's also why it might not make sense to cut Jameel either. You can either pay him $4.2 towards 2013 or cut him and still pay $2.4 in dead money. If you assume that his replacement spot on the roster will be filled by a cheap rookie, the true savings is only $1.3 million
If you want to get a true cap savings by cutting a player, add $500 back on to the total. That is the total that is saved if replaced by a rookie/2nd year/ERFA on the 51 salary cap roster.
Now, the plus side is that when you sign a free agent not on your roster, the cap hit isn't as severe. If you sign Player A and his first year cap # is $3.25 million, the actual increase would be around $2.75 million because his addition to the rule of 51 will push a player who was making $500k off the roster.
The bottom line is that it's really not possible to know what the Ravens' offseason plans (and the 2013 roster) will include until Joe Flacco is secured for 2013. There are indications that the team will go all out to lock Flacco up long-term as soon as the new league year opens, and if that happens then we'll be able to work off of that. But if they don't get anything done and need to franchise him, I actually doubt they'll be able to sign a single FA, whether extending their own guys or signing guys off the street.
The tag is going to completely obliterate their cap space unless and until an extension is reached. If that's late in the offseason or even after the season opener, they're going to miss out on free agency apart from picking up a few scrap heapers after final cuts. That's not necessarily a huge problem, frankly, but as I've been saying all along, the 2013 draft is going to be the most important in a very long time (they're all important, of course.)
If my "worst-case" scenario of entering the season with Flacco under the tag comes to fruition, they will likely be looking to draftees to compete for starting jobs at several positions: FS, ILB, and LT for sure, and possibly WR as well. This year we had 2 rookies play substantial/starter level snaps: KO and Courtney Upshaw. Next year it could be as many as 4, depending on who wins jobs out of training camp.
In fact, I'm going to go through each position on the roster and highlight the Ravens' options without signing a single free agent this offseason and making several of the discussed cuts to free up the QB franchise tag space. This is the "worst case scenario" plan. Starters in bold, training camp competition participants in italics. As I see it, LT, WILL, FS, NT, and FB all look like MAJOR question marks.
QB - Flacco
WR - #1 Boldin #2 Torrey #3 Doss (co-starter if we go to primarily 3-wide sets) #4-6 Streeter/Williams/Thompson/Reed/Draft pick
LT - Draft pick/Oher
LG - Osemele
C - Gradkowski
RG - Yanda
RT - Oher/draft pick
RB - Rice/Pierce
FB - Draft pick/Pitta (as H-Back)/none
TE - #1 Pitta #2 Dickson/Draft pick
DE/DT - McPhee/Jones
NT - Draft pick/Cody
DT - Ngata
SAM - Upshaw
MIKE - McClain
WILL - Bynes/McClellan/Draft pick
RUSH - Suggs
CB - #1 Webb #2 Graham #3 Smith/Brown
SS - Pollard
FS - Thompson/Cook/Draft pick
K - Tucker
P - Koch
KR - Thompson/Reed/etc.
PR - Rainey/Webb/etc.
I think there is no way we go into the 2013 season with that defense, the Ravens will address the key areas in FA and the draft, although Bmore did say "worse case scenario".
There will be growing pains no doubt, it will be a much younger team, but I'm not expecting a 2002 type hangover at all, we aren't in that bad of shape IMO.
LDE (5-tech) Upshaw
NT (1-tech) Ngata
DT (3-tech) Jones/McPhee
RDE (9-tech) Suggs
SAM - McClellan/Hamilton (in the 4-3 under this position plays up on the LOS similarly to more of a 3-4 front, this is the position Von Miller plays in Denver)
MIKE - McClain
WILL - Ellerbe if resigned... but need a very speedy Lavonte David type of player if not (Khaseem Greene is a good fit in that spot.)
You upgrade speed by taking Cody off the field and asking your DTs to penetrate while your SAM and MIKE eat up blocks and your WILL runs free. I'm not sure on the fit for some of those guys... Upshaw isn't a great fit anywhere really but he defends the run well and the 5-tech LDE is the run stopping end. I'm not sure if Art Jones is an explosive enough pass rusher to play 3-tech.. usually you want a Geno Atkins type of quick-twitch guy there. Ngata, a healthy Suggs, and McClellan are all good fits, though.
McClain at Mike, please god no....:grbac:
The change to a 4-3 looks good on paper, but its probably really unlikely. We haven't ran a 4-3 for a while, and idk if Pees has any history running a 4-3 either.
The whole point is that the Ravens could EASILY go into 2013 without signing a single free agent. They just don't have the cap space. Kruger, Ellerbe, Cary, McKinnie... all gone. The money's just not there. The Ravens will survive like they always have.
The whole point is that the Ravens could EASILY go into 2013 without signing a single free agent. They just don't have the cap space. Kruger, Ellerbe, Cary, McKinnie... all gone. QUOTE]
The only way we would be close to having this happen would be if we had to franchise Flacco and kept Leach/Boldin/Jones at their current cap #s.
I don't have my cap spreadsheet here at work, but even if we had to give Joe a $16 million fanchise tag and opted to keep Jacoby/Quan/Vonta (assuming cut/retire to Birk and cutting Bobby Williams) that would put us around $122-$123 based on my memory of what it looks like. I believe, with our carryover from 2012, our salary cap ceiling is $122.
So imagine if we get Flacco signed longterm ($6 million+ in savings) and part ways with Jones and Leach ($7 million savings). That would give us $12 million or so in cap money to spend without even having to touch Boldin's contract. We can keep Kruger and Ellerbe for that amount and possibly even bring in one more FA. Or, if 99 and 59 get too expensive, we can get four decent mid-level free agents for that amount too.
If we want to keep either Jones or Leach, then we could probably do so as well and still be somewhat active in resigning Kruger/Ellerbe or getting 2-3 free agents.
Getting Flacco signed long-term is the pivotal event of this offseason. Without it, we are basically treading water with our current guys. With it, we are actually not in a bad spot in the least.
What is the deadline for an NFL team to declare whom, if anyone, they are going to franchise tag in 2013?
I agree that Flacco's long-term contract is the pivotal issue, but the real question is not IF it happens but WHEN it happens. If the Ravens have to franchise Flacco they're out of free agency, period, until the tag is lifted via long-term deal. The worst case scenario here is that Flacco remains on the franchise tag through the entire offseason. By opening day guys like Ellerbe, Kruger, Knighton, Kenny Phillips, etc. will have all likely signed elsewhere--they're not going to wait for the Ravens on a handshake deal in all likelihood.
That's why I called it the worst case scenario--and, unfortunately, I think it has a strong possibility of playing out. The Ravens want to get a deal done quickly but they had the entire season to do that and the FO had more leverage months ago. Now Flacco has a lot of leverage, and that could complicate the process. I think it gets done but I don't know if the odds are good that it happens before late summer.
Ravens always do cap magic, they will again. We will lose a few players and add some. Birk might not retire, btw if you read his interview. He played pretty well this year. Their might be a few restructured deals here and thier but not much change in the roster next year except for a handful of players. I think Leach might be released (possibly resigned), something will happen Boldins deal and Jones but I expect them both back likey with longerterm contracts. People freak out 2 years ago we let go Heap, WM. Mase and Buddy Lee and make AFFCG, Last year Grubbs, Johnson, Mckinney, Redding and backup S's and make AFFCG again! Relax.... Joe will sign longterm deal with cap freindly 2013 like Rice and then cap goes up again in 2014. The beat moves on. 90% of the teams have the same problem but not the depth or talent level of the Ravens or the shrewd FO. Raves always have a plan and many backup plans.
The Cap numbers for the 42 players under contract for 2013 are now updated and on the site:
I would agree with bmorecareful, if they have to franchise Flacco, they are likely out of free agency, including re-signing some of their own (at least, barring wholesale restructures/releases/extensions).
So, IMO, the key to their offseason is getting a deal done with Flacco.