Projecting the Ravens’ Salary Cap status at start of 2013 season

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Now that first-round pick, Matt Elam, has finally agreed to terms, the Ravens pre-Training Camp Salary Cap – barring another move over the next couple of days – appears to be set.  With Elam now in the fold, the Ravens are set to enter Training Camp with $5,299,459 in available Salary Cap space.

That sounds like a decent amount of Cap space, but that number is a bit misleading because, under the Rule of 51 that applies at this time of the league year, only the highest 51 Salary Cap numbers on the team (and all dead money from players who have been released/retired/traded) presently count against the Cap.

Once the season starts, however, all players – those on the 53-man rosters, Injured Reserve (IR), Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) and the Practice Squad (PS) – must be accounted for within the team’s Salary Cap.  Once those players are added in, that $5,299,459 will be greatly reduced.

So, in order to try and project the team’s season opening Cap space, it first takes a projected roster.  For illustration purposes, the following is a guess at the Ravens season opening roster:

“LOCKS” – 40 (with Cap Number):

QB (2): 

Flacco ($6.8M), TTaylor ($581,327)

RB (3):

Rice ($5.75M), Pierce ($618,986), Juszczyk ($480,146)

WR (3):

Smith ($924,336), Jones ($4.9M), Doss ($658,140)

TE (2):

Pitta ($2.023M), Dickson ($1.323M)

OL (6): 

McKinnie ($2.5M), Osemele ($760,425), Gradkowski ($601,106), Yanda ($7.45M), Oher ($4.955M), Wagner ($441,140)

DL (6):    

Ngata ($11.5M), Art Jones ($2.023M), Canty ($1,506,666), Spears ($1.2M), McPhee ($591,140), Williams ($533,750)

LB (7):

Suggs ($13.02M), Dumervil ($2.5M), McClain ($4.2M), A.Brown ($646,224), D.Smith ($1.125M), Upshaw ($1,203,795), Simon ($501,413)

CB (4):

Webb ($), J.Smith ($), Graham ($), Brown ($591,140)

S (4):

Elam ($1,230,364), Huff ($1.35M), Ihedigbo ($620K), Thompson ($442,205), O.Brown ($112,941)

ST (3):

Tucker ($480K), Koch ($2.5M), Cox ($755K)

NOTE:  Christian Thompson is suspended for the first four games of the year; Omar Brown is listed above to replace him for those four games.

PROJECTED BALANCE OF ROSTER – 13 – with (Cap Number; Dead Money if released):

QB:

None

RB (1):

Allen ($555K; $0)

WR (3):  

D.Reed ($880K; $250K), Thompson ($480,133; $133), Streeter ($503,133; $23,133)

TE (1): 

Bajema ($555K; $0)

OL (2):

Shipley ($480K; $0), Harewood ($800K; $320K)

DL (1):

Tyson ($491,898; $11,898)

LB (2):  

McClellan ($555K; $0), Bynes ($480K; $0)

CB (3):

Jackson ($514,015; $34,015), C.Johnson ($620K; $35K), Anthony ($416,474, $11,474)

S:

None

PUP/IR: (2)    

Kapron-Lewis ($427,058; $22,058), M.Brown ($406,666; $1,666)

Practice Squad (8):  

8 players x $6000/per week x 17 weeks = $816K

Now, there is little chance the roster will end up looking like the above example, but for illustration purposes, the above roster would leave the Ravens with $3,463,459 in Salary Cap space.  This estimate does not, however, account for the inevitable Training Camp injuries that will lead to players being placed on IR.  Once that happens, the injured player will continue to count against the team’s Salary Cap and the player signed to replace him will be added to the Cap and reduce the projected $3,463,459 in Cap space.

Again, the above roster was just a best guess.  Players who didn’t make the above list, but may make the team are as follows:

ROSTER POSSIBILITIES – (with Dead Money due to release; Cap number if makes team):

QB:     

Hanie ($0; $555K)

RB:  

Rainey ($0; $480K), Berry ($0; $405K)

WR:

Mellett ($11,474; $416,474), L.Williams ($168; $555,168)

TE:

Furstenburg ($3,333; $408,333)

OL:   

Reid ($140,810; $695,810), Jensen ($19,670; $424,670), Mims ($0;$480K), Cornell ($0; $405K), Devey ($3,333; $408,333), Gaines ($3,000; $408K)

DL: 

Cody ($280K; $910K), Pericak ($4,500; $409,500)

LB:

Hall ($0; $480K), Hamilton ($0; $405K), Carr ($0; $405K)

CB:  

Lee ($0; $405K)

S:      

Levine ($0; $405K)

So, if any of the above players made the final roster in place of a player on one of the first two lists, his Cap number will replace the Cap number of the player not making the team and his dead money will be replaced by the dead money from the player not making the team.

If, on the other hand, the player makes the team due to another player being placed on IR, then the new player’s Cap number will be added to the team’s Cap, while his dead money will be removed from the Cap.

So, given the final make-up of the rosters, and barring any roster additions, the starting point for the Ravens’ in-season Salary Cap should be in the $3.5M range, pending the cost of injury replacement.

If the team doesn’t make any other moves and doesn’t have a lot of injuries, any excess Cap space at the end of the year can be carried over into 2014.

10 Raves on “Projecting the Ravens’ Salary Cap status at start of 2013 season

  1. East Endzone on said:

    I always enjoy a salary cap article, but your overall numbers don’t match with the sal cap link on this site. Who is right?

  2. Basil on said:

    Can the Ravens roll over excess cap space to 2014? If not, they should lock up Torrey or Pitta to a long term deal with a frontloaded contract to maximize available cap space in 2014.

  3. Danny on said:

    The offer supposedly still on the table for Leach is reportedly $2M+$1M incentives. Given your number of an in-season cap of $3.5M is there really any chance of him being signed? $0.5M seems like a small window.

      • Brian on said:

        The offer supposedly is $2M + $1M in incentives. That usually means they are NLTBE (not likely to be earned) incentives, which wouldn’t count against the 2013 Cap (otherwise, he’d still count $3M against the Cap and then there would have been no reason to have released him), but would count in 2014, if earned.

        As such, if the above numbers held, the $3.5M would be reduced by the $2M in base salary, leaving them with only $1.5M in cap space going into the season – which IMO, would be cutting it pretty close, assuming there will be injuries at some point.

  4. Captain Offense on said:

    B-More Ravor,

    Thumbs up, as always. Thanks for the information (and Tony, thanks for the selection of talent). It is a big help in trying to follow the roster more than the on-the-field efforts.

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