Salary cap implications of Terrell Suggs’ injury

suggs

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:

·      53-man Roster:  If his return to practice is expected before the 6th week of the NFL season, they could choose to carry him on their 53-man roster.  This, of course, would come at the expense of another player, but would allow him to return as early as possible.  If he is carried on the 53-man roster, Suggs will still get paid his base salary and he will continue to fully count at $11.52M against the Cap.

·      Physically Unable To Perform (PUP):  If Suggs is not expected to be able to return to practice until at least the 6th week of the season, the team could place him on the PUP list.  Suggs would not be able to practice with the team for those six weeks, but could start practicing then and would need to be added to the 53-man roster by week 9.  If on PUP, Suggs would still get paid and still continue to count fully against the Salary Cap, but would not count towards the 53-man roster until activated from PUP.

·      Non-Football Injury List (NFI):  The Ravens could place Suggs on the NFI list, which basically is the same as the PUP list, but with one major exception – while on NFI, Suggs would not get paid his base salary.  As such, at least initially, his entire $4.9M in base salary would be removed from the team’s Salary Cap.  The team would, however, need to reserve enough Cap space to accommodate his return, assuming he is activated from NFI at some point.  Suggs is set to make $4.9M in base salary for 2012, so for each week that he’s on NFI, he would lose $288K.  So, at a minimum, Suggs would lose $1.729M for the 6 weeks that he must be on NFI.  That would be Cap space that the team would be certain to have available from placing Suggs on NFI.  They would likely have to reserve the other $3.171M in Cap space pending his return.

If Suggs in unable to return by week 9, the team could leave him on NFI for the remainder of the season or place him on IR.  If he was placed on IR, he would then be entitled to receive the balance of his base salary.  If he remains on NFI, he would not receive any of his base salary.  The team would then have excess Cap space that they could use for injury replacements or carry over into 2013. 

If Suggs is lost for the season, the Ravens have two options:

·      Injured Reserve (IR):  By placing Suggs on IR, they are ending his season.  If on IR, Suggs is entitled to his full salary and his present Cap number of $11.52M (the highest on the team) will continue to count against the Cap. 

The NFL Competition Committee did consider changing this rule to allow one player to be able to return from IR at some point during the season, but Committee tabled that proposal.

·      Non-Football Injury List (NFI):  If Suggs is lost for the season, the team does still have the option of placing him on NFI.  So, if the team wants to play hardball with him, they could do so.  He wouldn’t get paid any of his base salary and the team would get a credit of $4.9M against the Salary Cap. 

This is something that the team would have to consider – especially if reports of his injury happening while playing basketball, an activity prohibited by his contract, are true – but such a move will certainly not be viewed as “player-friendly”, something the Ravens have always prided themselves on.

So, the Ravens may have some tough decisions to make over the next couple months and next week’s appointment with the specialist will go a long way toward determining the team’s course of action.

This entry was posted in Salary Cap Analysis by Brian McFarland. Bookmark the permalink.

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...more

One Rave about “Salary cap implications of Terrell Suggs’ injury

  1. Chris on said:

    The Ravens will not NFI Suggs and will not play hardball. There is a bigger picture then trying to teach Suggs a lesson or gaining cap room for this season. If the Ravens NFI him they can pretty much forget about drawing any big name free agents to Baltimore as long as the front office and owner remain unchanged. Baltimore is known for being a player friendly organization and the minute they choose to play hardball the other players will remember and will not come here to play period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

Ravens Should Pass on Tight End in First Round

When a player is taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, the goal is for that player to have an immediate impact. The first round is supposed to be the best of the best. If a team hits a home run, ...read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Introducing Anita Marks

Originally published on May 16, 2006   One week before she launches her new sports talk program coincidentally called The Anita Marks Show (funny how that happens), I sat down with Anita Mark...read more

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Ravens Draft History Round 5

Last week, we touched down on Round 4 of the Ravens draft history. This week we'll focus on Round 5 where the Ravens clearly found some value. 1996 (153) Jermaine Lewis, WR, Maryland The first 5...read more

MEDIA WATCHDOG: Blogger Seeks $400K

Hunter filling in admirably for Manfra on WBAL If you’ve been listening to the O’s on 1090 AM WBAL (or trying to through the static) you’ve probably noticed that veteran broadcaster Fred Manfra...read more

Ravens Reinstate Rolando

The Baltimore Ravens have reinstated inside linebacker Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list, three days after McClain worked out for Ravens officials at team headquarters in Owings Mills. ...read more

View More