Salary Cap Update: Busy Week for Ravens

Salary Cap Salary Cap Update: Busy Week for Ravens

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As the free agent period dawned on Tuesday afternoon, the Ravens’ roster looked to be in total flux, with key free agents like OT Eugene Monroe, LB Daryl Smith and WR/KR Jacoby Jones appearing to be on the verge of becoming ex-Ravens.

By late Friday, as the dust had settled on a very busy week, General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ front office had again shown why they are among the best in the business.

Monroe? Check.

Daryl Smith? Check.

Jacoby? Check.

And, while not on the same level, special teams stalwarts, LB Albert McClellan and S Jeromy Miles? Check and check.

WR Steve Smith? Wait…what?


What a pretty incredible four days it was!

NEW CONTRACTS:  While all of the details on the new contracts have yet to be reported, we do know most of the details:

Eugene Monroe:  Signed a 5-year, $37.5M deal, with $19M guaranteed ($11M bonus, 2014 and 2015 base salaries and $2M of 2016 base salary).

His deal breaks down as follows:

Jacoby Jones:  Signed a 4-year, $12M base deal, with $4.5M guaranteed ($3.5M bonus and 2014 base salary).  An additional $2M is available via incentives based on receptions.

His deal breaks down as follows:

Albert McClellan:  Signed a 2-year, $2.2M deal, with a $400K signing bonus.

His deal breaks down as follows:

Daryl Smith:  Signed a 4-year, $16.1M deal that pays in $6.1M in 2014.  The remaining details have yet to be disclosed.

Based on that, the estimate of 2014 would be:

Steve Smith:  Signed a 3-year $10.5M deal, with a $3.5M bonus.  He will make $4.5M in 2014 and there is a $1M playing time incentive included in the deal.

His deal breaks down as follows:

Jeromy Miles:  Reportedly a 1-year deal, no terms have been disclosed.  Estimated to be $1M.

PRESENT CAP SPACE:  With all of the above factored in, the Ravens are estimated to be $8.8M under the Cap, with 57 players signed or tendered.

OZZIE WORKS HIS MAGIC:  There was a lot of concern around Baltimore when the Ravens declined to use the $11.654M Franchise Tag on Monroe.  Given the abundance of Cap space available at the time, many felt it was worth it to use the Tag to secure Monroe for 2014 and not risk losing him on the open market.

As always, though, Newsome stuck with his convictions and the value that he had place on Monroe. Clearly, he had no interest in clogging up the team’s Cap with that $11.654M Cap charge.

Now, it is pretty clear why Ozzie felt he wasn’t interested in using that $11.654M Franchise tag.  If you add up the 2014 Cap numbers for 6 signings – Monroe ($3.2M), Jones ($1.875M), McClellan ($1M), Daryl Smith ($2.35M), Steve Smith ($2.167M) and Miles ($1M) – the total is $11.592M.

Clearly, given what they intended to accomplish, using the Franchise Tag would likely not have allowed them to do what they did over the first week of free agency.

ANOTHER CAP DEDUCTION:  The Ravens had an additional Salary Cap deduction taken from them this week. After having a 2013 incentives carryover of close to $2.5M deducted from their Cap early last week, an additional $1.125M was removed on Friday.

This time, however, it’s self-inflicted – but for good reason.

When the 2011 lockout ended with the adoption of the new CBA, the Salary Cap was reduced from $132M in 2009 (and uncapped in 2010) to $120.6M in 2011.  As a way to ease teams into this new, much lower Cap, the transition rules allow teams to “borrow” $4.5M over the first two seasons of the new CBA ($3M in 2011, $1.5M in 2012).  Most teams, the Ravens included, took advantage of this extra Cap space.  Under the transition rules, any money borrowed would have to be repaid, at the team’s discretion, at some point between 2014 and 2017.

It appears that the Ravens have decided to repay that amount in 4 equal yearly amounts of $1.125M from 2014-2017.

ROOKIE CAP:  There have been a lot of questions about how much of the available Cap space will be needed to accommodate the Ravens’ draft class.  This is a bit difficult to estimate at this time because the rounds of the 4 Compensatory pick the Ravens are expected to receive aren’t yet known.  A fair guess would be that the Ravens will likely have a Rookie Cap of approximately $5-5.5M.  However, since the Rookie Cap is a “Cap within a Cap,” the impact on the overall Cap will likely be more in the $1-2M range.  For a detailed explanation of the interplay between the Rookie Cap and the team’s overall Salary Cap, see HERE.

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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. More from Brian McFarland

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