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Disclaimer: Collecting Salary Cap data is truly an inexact science. It is especially so for a team like the Ravens, who rarely give out any contract details. As such, it is left to ProFootball24x7 to obtain the details of contracts from various local media sources and football-related websites (ESPN, KFFL, NFLPA, USAToday, etc.).
As of March 2nd, all teams were required to be under the $109.134M salary cap (there was a league-wide increase in the cap of $134K). At that time, the numbers compiled by ProFootball24x7 had the Ravens at $3.54M under the salary cap. This number appears to be fairly accurate based on website reports from John Clayton/ESPN and AskTheCommish.com.
Since that date, the Ravens have made 5 moves:
1. The re-signing of Jarret Johnson: Based on media reports, Johnsonâ€™s 2007 cap number is estimated to be $1.880M. There is a rebate of $360K applied due to Johnsonâ€™s cap number replacing the 51st highest prior cap number under the Rule of 51 (that cap number was $360K).
2. The re-signing of Musa Smith: Based on media reports, Smithâ€™s 2007 cap number is estimated to be $1.000M. There is a rebate of $360K applied due to Smithâ€™s cap number replacing the 51st highest prior cap number under the Rule of 51.
3. The release of Edwin Mulitalo: Based on media reports, Mulitalo was released using one of the Ravensâ€™ June 1 Exemptions, which means that he will be released immediately, but his cap number will stay on the books until June 1. After June 1, the Ravens will receive $2M in cap space based on his release. They will have to carry $1.7M in dead money against the 2008 cap. But, for now, there is a charge of $360K added on for a player replacing Mulitaloâ€™s spot among the top 51 cap numbers.
4. The restructuring of Jonathan Ogdenâ€™s contract: Based on information from the NFLPAâ€™s website, it appears that Ogdenâ€™s base salary has been reduced from $6.11M to $820K. According to Jamison Hensley of The Baltimore Sun on Sundayâ€™s ProFootball24x7 GAMETIME broadcast, this â€œmechanismâ€ was apparently already in Ogdenâ€™s contract which was renegotiated in 2004 (perhaps in the realization that Ogden may contemplate retirement within a couple of years). ProFootball24x7 has learned from another NFL media source that this was accomplished via a bonus related to Ogdenâ€™s participation in OTAs (Organized Team Activities). Thus, by exercising the option to lower his base salary, the Ravens have created $5.29M in cap space for now. Should Ogden return, he will be owed that money (or a portion of it, depending on exactly how it is tied to the OTAs), which will likely be pro-rated over the remaining 4 years of his contract. In that case, this maneuver will have created $3.968M in cap space for this year, but will have pushed that amount into the future, which will have to be accounted for at some point in the future.
5. The acquisition of Willis McGahee: Based on media reports, McGaheeâ€™s 2007 cap number is estimated to be $1.845M. There is a rebate of $360K applied due to Smithâ€™s cap number replacing the 51st highest prior cap number under the Rule of 51.
So, based on the above moves, the Ravens currently appear to have approximately $4.96M in cap space.