A Ravens Salary Cap & Roster Update
PLAYERS ON PUP/NFI CAN NOW BEGIN PRACTICING: The Ravens have 3 players on their Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list – WR Quincy Adeboyejo; LB Bam Bradley; CB Jaylen Hill – and one player on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list – PK Vaare Vedvik.
The PUP and NFI lists basically operate the same and now that the aforementioned players have sat out of the first 6 games of the season, they can begin practicing at any point up until week 11. Once a player starts practicing, a 21-day period begins during which the team has a roster exemption that allows that player to practice without having to be added to the 53-man roster. At any time during that period, the team can add that player to the 53-man roster. At the end of that 21-day period, the team must make the decision to either add the player to the 53-man roster or move the player to Injured Reserve (IR) for the balance of the season.
At this time, the injury status of the 4 players hasn’t been reported, so it’s unclear whether any of them are even able to return to practice at this time (or at all, for that matter), but over the next couple of weeks, that should become clearer. It also remains to be seen if the Ravens even have a roster space for any of these players, so it’s very possible they start practicing at some point, only to end up on IR. Still, it’s a good problem to have this far into the season and provides additional depth should injuries create roster openings. Otherwise, the players basically have been redshirted for the year and should be ready to compete for a roster spot next offseason.
INJURED RESERVE – DESIGNATED TO RETURN: The Ravens have 3 players currently on IR who are eligible to be designated to return. In order to qualify for this designation, the player must have gone on IR after the final cutdown to the 53-man roster and must have been on IR for 6 games. At any point after the 6 games have passed, the player can be designated to return and is allowed to practice for 21 days. The player must sit out a total of 8 weeks before being activated to the 53-man roster. Just like with PUP/NFI, at the end of the 21-day practice period, the team must either activate the player to the 53-man roster or leave the player on IR for the balance of the season.
Teams can designate 2 players to return, but if the player can’t return for whatever reason that designation is lost.
RB Kenneth Dixon was placed on IR after week 1, so he is eligible to be designated to return as of this week, but cannot be activated to the 53-man roster until after the 9th game of the season. CB Maurice Canady was placed on IR after week 2, so he is eligible to be designated to return as of next week, but he cannot be activated to the 53-man roster until after the 10th game of the season.
Just like with the players on PUP/NFI, it remains to be seen whether Dixon or Canady are ready to return at this time or will be in the future. Much will also likely depend on team needs and available spots on the 53-man roster. The team may also want to keep one of the 2 designation available in case a more vital player must go on IR, but has a chance to return later in the season or in the playoffs.
The 3rd player on IR who is eligible to be designated to return is RB De’Lance Turner, but it seems unlikely that the Ravens would use the designation on him.
PRESENT SALARY CAP SPACE AND 2019 CARRYOVER:
The Ravens presently have just under $5M in available Cap space. Barring a huge rash of injuries and players going on IR, the Ravens should be able to carry the bulk of that over into 2019. In fact, if any of the above players come off of PUP, NFI or IR and are added to the 53-man roster, a player will have to be released, which would free up $200-400K in Cap space per transaction.
Past year’s carryovers have been:
- 2013: $1.182M
- 2014: $1.532M
- 2015: $5.792M
- 2016: $1.634M
- 2017: $2.553M
- 2018: $3.275M
EARLY 2019 SALARY CAP PROJECTION:
The Ravens presently have 46 players under contract for 2019 with a present Cap commitment of $162.5M. With early projections for the 2019 Salary Cap putting the Cap in the $188-190M range, that would leave the Ravens with close to $25.5-27.5M in Cap space.
That said, other variables (RFAs, incentive adjustment, Proven Performance Escalator) will likely reduce that amount by around $5-10M (after being offset by the $4-5M carryover). That should still leave the Ravens in a far better Cap position than they’ve been in several years. This Cap space will be very important given that the Ravens have multiple key free agents (LB Terrell Suggs, LB CJ Mosely, LB Za’Darius Smith, WR John Brown, DE Brent Urban).
Still, after years of very tight Salary Caps and needing to restructure contracts to create Cap space, 2019 appears to be much brighter from a Cap perspective.