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01-03-2013, 01:02 PM #13
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He''ll get a decent offer (McClain like) maybe more, but to demand big money he has to show better work ethic and the ability to stay healthy.
01-03-2013, 01:46 PM #14
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It will come down to Paul Kruger or Dannell Elerbee, and I think we're better off with Ellerbe, he has been that good whenever he's been on the field this year.
A full offseason staying injury free and living up to his contract could make Ellerbe one of the top ILB's in the game, not even joking.
01-03-2013, 02:30 PM #15
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Maybe, maybe not. I think if Ray had stayed, it was likely one or the other. With Ray gone, there's a CHANCE both could stay, but it'll be tough..
FOR REED, BIRK, BOLDIN, RAY, ART, TEVIN, OJ, and BALTIMORE...
SUPER BOWL 47 CHAMPION RAVENS!!!!!!
"We don't make it easy, but that's the way the city of Baltimore is, and that's the way we are. We did this for them back home." - Joe Flacco, Super Bowl 47 MVP
Call me a Special Teams coach again. I dare you! I double dare you, MFer!
McClain is expendable if Ellerbe is re-signed, but I'm not sure that means you cut him. I think McClellan has emerged into a very solid player and he can probably do what Jameel does for half the price. The decision facing the Ravens is whether to keep Jameel for a cap hit of $4.2 million or to part ways and eat $1.2 in dead money towards the 2013 cap. That's not an easy one.
I know that a lot of people think it's either/or with re-signing Kruger or Ellerbe, but I'm not 100% sure on that. If we opt to clear Jameel's $3 million off the books, that gives us $8.4 million to spread between 99 and 59 and I think that should be roughly enough to make market-pay-level offers to both players. I think Kruger/Ellerbe will probably command in the $9-10 million range annually between then, but we can certainly structure their contracts in a way that we are replacing the outgoing Lewis/McClain contracts with the Kruger/Ellerbe re-signings.
Of course, if we cut one of Jacoby/Quan, that would free up even more money and maybe we could keep McClain and still re-sign the other two. However, IMO, Jones and Boldin are more valuable cogs than McClain, who is very mediocre in my opinion. If we went into 2013 with Ellerbe/McClellan/Bynes/Rookie (or perhaps NigelCarr)/Ayanbadejo as our five MLB, I'd be content, particulary if it allowed us the cap flexibility to have some type of Upshaw/Suggs/Kruger rotation at OLB (with Hamilton, Kindle, McAdoo competing for that 4th OLB spot).
The "contract year" stuff is very, very real here and it is definately something to be concerned with.
And I said this last offseason, I was not a McClain fan at all...and even with Ellerbe, I think the difference in ability is extremely obvious...I don't think I've ever seen McClain make the plays that Ellerbe has over the last half of the season...and that's without Ray next to him. It said a lot to me too that he didn't get any sniffs out in UFA when he hit the market...nobody else in the league really valued him. I hope if they keep him, they still draft an ILB early to compete with and eventually take his job.Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.
01-03-2013, 03:00 PM #19Regular 1st Stringer
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I like Ellerbe, not enough to give him starter money.His 2009 rookie season with Mattison as DC was very nice.Since that from 2010-2012.. 3 Different DCs (Mattison, Pagano and now Pees) started McClain not Ellerbe.
Anyway he has never had a 16 games season and he seems to struggle with injuries and form. Let him have a 16 games season, then you can pay him.
01-03-2013, 03:54 PM #21Regular 1st Stringer
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We are likely to have the following contracts off the books:
Ray Lewis ($4.35 million cap savings from 2012)
Matt Birk ($2.75 million savings----although I'm not as sure as some here that this is a given)
Ed Reed ($9.6 million cap savings)
Bobbie Williams ($1.2 million cap savings)
Bryant McKinnie ($4.2 savings)
Cary Williams ( $1.9 million...i am operating under the assumption that he won't re-sign with us, which is less than a 10% chance IMO)
Right there, between those six players, there is $24 million. That seems significant, but not when you look at the salary increases ahead for the roster.
Note: There are other veterans on the roster who are unlikely to be back (Bajema, Kemoeatu, Ighedibo, Chris Johnson, Considine). However, I don't think they factor too much into the equation because their salaries ($540k to $700k) are really not significantly higher than if a rookie replaces them next year. I'm going to consider their cap savings to be essentially a wash.
So what does that $24 million really save us this offseason??
Ray Rice's cap # increases 750k
Marshall Yanda's cap # increases $3.8 million
Sam Koch's increases $300k
Haloti Ngata's increase is $1.1
Terrell Sugg's increase is $1.5
Jimmy Smith's increase is roughly $350k
Pollard's increase is $1.3
Oher's is roughly $800k
Jacoby Jones' cap # goes up $3.3 million
Corey Graham goes up $1.1 (still a good value at $2.4 million though)
Webb goes up $2.7 million
So, right there by my math, our cap is set to go up $17 million just right there. So suddenly that $24 million no longer looks so good.
Also, when you factor in the incrimental increases to all our drafted players (Upshaw $260k, Torrey Smith $150k Osemele $150k) that has a small impact. There are also a ton of players scheduled to get a $90k raise this year (Justin Tucker, Bobby Rainey, Deonte Thompson, Omar Brown, Gradkowski, Asa Jackson, Chykie Brown, Pernell McPhee, Jah Reid, Bernard Pierce, Josh Bynes, Mount Cody, Tommy Streeter, Adrian Hamilton, Deangelo Tyson, Bryan Hall). I'm not sure the impact of those $90k increases as much will depend on who they replace and how many of them make the 2013 team, but I'm going to safely estimate that between all the players above, including 2nd rounders Upshaw, Smith, and Osemele, that takes another $1.5 of available money away from the cap.
So now we are down to $5.5 million...and we haven't even gotten to the upcoming Restricted FAs. I'm not sure what the Ravens will do with David Reed or Ramon Harewood or Morgan Cox (probably low or no tenders), but the other four players who are eligible (Pitta, Dickson, McClellan and Art Jones) are all ultra-valuable contributors and will certainly be tendered. I would imagine Pitta, Jones, and McClellan would get a 2nd round tender and get the $1.9 million contract. Round-of-draft tenders are far too risky for any of those 3. Dickson I would guess would get the round-of-draft tender at $1.3 million (I can't imagine anyone giving up a 3rd rounder for Dickson).
That means the following increases:
$1.4 for McClellan
$1.4 for Jones
$1.3 for Pitta
$500k for Dickson.
So there is another $4.6 million off the cap space, which means we have $900k in available cap space.
Now, in truth, it's more than that because I haven't calculated Flacco, Ellerbe, and Kruger yet. All will be UFAs and, in theory, if all 3 left, it would free up another $10.5 million. However, let's try to structure this in a way that we can keep all three.
Flacco is making $8 million in 2012. Let's assume we can work out a long-term deal with him in the $13-$15 million range. Let's also assume that we structure the deal so that his cap # in 2013 only goes up $1 million. Now we are dealing with a $100k deficit.
Kruger is making $800k. Let's assume he gets a raise into the $5 million/year range (roughly where I expect him to be). Let's assume the Ravens give him a small starting salary and a nice signing bonus and his 2013 cap # is around $3.5. That's a 2.7 raise and puts us $2.8 over the cap.
Ellerbe is making $1.9 million. Let's assume he signs in the $4-4.5 range. Again, let's assume his first-year cap # is around $3 million. That's a $1.1 increase and puts us $3.9 over the cap.
Let's assume that we cut Boldin, and I think it's a given that he won't be back at his current pay rate---a cut/re-signing might be the more viable option. That saves us $6 million. Now we are $2.1 on the good side.
Let's also assume that we cut Jameel McCLain. That saves us $3 million and we are now $5.1 on the plus side.
That $5.1 million leaves us very limited room to do anything in free agency. First off, note that the $5.1 million doesn't include any potential rookie salary upgrades if we were happen to get an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder somewhere during the draft. Secondly, it basically gives us room for one good free agent or two decent ones.
Now if we would cut Jacoby, that frees up another $4 million, which would put us $9.1 million under the cap. That could give us room to re-sign Boldin and still have $5-6 million to improve the roster elsewhere.
I think in summary it is possible to keep Ellerbe and Kruger, but only at the expense of some combination of Jacoby/Quan/Jameel or potentially all three. The only other possible cuts that would make any salary cap sense are Sam Koch (highly unlikely since it's only a $1 million savings) and Leach ( $3 million savings)
If you are expecting big waves in Free Agency, even after Lewis' retirement, that's unrealistic. However, Lewis' retirement did help the 2013 cap a good bit, but it is hardly a huge opening to bring in other FAs. It likely just allows us to keep/retain one out of Jones/Boldin/McClain/Kruger/Ellerbe that we would have lost or had to cut otherwise.
And if you think 2013 is bad, wait until 2014 when the Ravens will have Oher, Pitta, McClellan, Art Jones, Graham, Jacoby (if not cut), Boldin (if not cut) and Leach all become FAs and Ngata, Webb, Rice, and Flacco will all have cap-crippling raises that year too. This is why it's so hard to have 5 straight playoff appearances in today's NFL.
You have to keep in mind, Elland, that the Ravens of a history of seeing their bench players/swing starters get starter-caliber money with other franchises. If they want to compete for his services next year, they are going to need to pay him competitively.
Also, I must edit my earlier posts. If we cut, McClain, I believe our cap savings would only be $1.8 million, since we would be on the hook for $2.4 in dead money versus his $4.2 salary for 2013. However, we would be free of any contractual obligation as of 2014. That worsens the situation.