SALARY CAP UPDATE: The impact of Terrell Suggs’ new deal

Salary Cap SALARY CAP UPDATE: The impact of Terrell Suggs’ new deal

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1.  TERRELL SUGGS AGREES TO TERMS:  Based on various media reports, it appears that Terrell Suggs’ Salary Cap charges will be as follows:





































12,500,000 reports that Suggs receives:              $15.1M in 2009


EPSN reports that Suggs receives:             $33.1M in “guaranteed” money

$40M in the 1st 2 years of the deal

                                                                                $43.4M in the 1st 3 years of the deal

                                                                                $48.3M in the 1st 4 years of the deal also recently reported that the deal is actually $62.5M total, not $63M as originally reported.


Note:  Under the “last capped year” rules pursuant to the CBA, all bonus prorations are for a maximum of 5 years.


Piecing together those reports, it appears that Suggs’ 2011 base salary must be $3.4M and his 2012 salary must be $4.9M, based on the increases as reported by ESPN.  The increase in salary between those 2 years is critical because with this year being the “last capped year”, the 30% Rule applies, which prohibits a player’s yearly “salary” (pretty much all compensation, except the initial signing bonus proration) to increase by more than 30% of the player’s first year “salary”.  As such, $1.5M is 30% of $5M, so Suggs’ first year salary must be $5M (although it is possible that that amount could be split between base salary and a roster/reporting bonus, but either way the entire $5M counts against the Cap in 2009). 


This would also mean that his 2010 base salary must be $1.5M less than his 2011 salary of $3.4M, hence a 2010 base on $1.9M.  This can also be confirmed by calculating his 2010 “salary” which includes his 2010 base salary of $1.9M and an option bonus proration of $4.6M ($23M ÷ 5 years).  Those amounts total $6.5M, which is exactly 30% more than his 2009 salary of $5M, so it conforms to the 30% Rule. 


From that point, his base salaries are easy to determine by simply adding $1.5M to each succeeding year.


Next, according to, Suggs is to receive $15.1M this year, so if his base salary is $5M, then he must be receiving a Signing Bonus of $10.1M.  It then follows that the 2010 Option Bonus would be $23M.


2.  DERRICK MASON’S RETIREMENT:  While the feeling here is that Mason will likely end up rescinding his retirement announcement, the team would receive a Cap credit of $3M if he ends up following through with his announced intentions.


However, until he actually files his retirement papers with the NFL and the Ravens place him on their “Reserve/Retired” list, he will still remain on the team’s Salary Cap.  If Mason fails to file his retirement papers with the league by the beginning of Training Camp, the team would have the option of either doing nothing and leaving him on the books – hoping that he will return and not wanting to use up any Cap space allotted to him – or they can place him on the “Reserve/Did Not Report” list, which would then allow them to recoup the $3M in Cap Space.


3.  REMAINING DRAFT PICKS:  The team still has two rookie – 1st round pick, Michael Oher, and 2nd round pick, Paul Kruger – remaining unsigned.  So far, the Ravens have used $1.83M of their $3.372M Rookie Salary Cap in signing their other draft picks.  As such, they have $1.542M in Cap space remaining to sign those two.  However, since the Rule of 51 applies at this time – meaning only the top 51 Cap numbers apply at this time – their base salaries of $310K would be essentially deducted from the overall Cap because they would be replacing someone who is making the same amount in base salary.  As such, the impact of Oher and Kruger on the overall Cap would only be around $1.2M.


4.  PRESENT SALARY CAP SPACE:  As of our last report, the Ravens were approximately $4.5M under the Salary Cap.  Since then, Lardarius Webb has signed but that only reduced the team’s Cap by around $200K since he’s not among the top 51 Cap numbers.  Once Suggs officially signs his new contract, the team will receive a credit of $3.15M because the new deal reduces his Cap number from $10.17M to $7.02M.  That would leave the team with approximately $7.45M in Salary Cap space available, pending the signings of Oher and Kruger.

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Brian McFarland

About 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 NFL’s salary cap and actually make sense of it for those of us who view it as inviting as IRS Tax Code. 
Brian, who hails from Catonsville, MD and still resides there, is married and has two children.

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