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Cash Over Cap

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Dispelling The Notion That The Ravens Are Cheap

Signing bonuses, for cap purposes, are prorated over the term of a contract. So for example, if a player signs a 5 year deal and part of the deal includes a $25M signing bonus, that bonus hits the cap at $5M per year for the five year term. However, the actual cash spent on that bonus is $25M in year one. So the cash over cap for that player in year one as it pertains to the bonus, is $25M in cash, $5M against the cap. Hence the term, cash over cap.

The more deals like this that a team structures in a given season, the more it will lift the cash spent over the cap number – a cap number that is predetermined by the league for ALL TEAMS. A number that is fully enforceable. If teams are not in compliance, they will be fined and/or have draft picks taken away, as the Dallas Cowboys and the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins remember all too well.

Washington you may recall, was once a big spender in free agency, shelling out major contracts to players like Albert Haynesworth, Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders. All of the bonuses associated with those contracts, sent Daniel Snyder’s CASH spending way over the cap total, while amortizing those bonuses over future years. Eventually those had to be accounted for.

Moving forward to 2022, teams such as the Bills, Browns, Rams, Dolphins and Jaguars have all spent BIG DOLLARS and are well over the cap in actual spending. But that’s due to the fact that they’ve entered into agreements with players on big contracts, this year, and those contracts carry heavy bonus dollars…in other words, they’ve had to fork over large outlays of cash in 2022.

The Ravens are currently ranked 23rd in the league in cash over cap, spending $186.5M, $21.7M less than the cap number of $208.2M. However, if the Ravens were to offer Lamar Jackson a market value extension TODAY, the cash over cap number would climb to over $235M which would put them at 6th in the league.

But would that spending make them any better?

Proposed Lamar Jackson contract
Market value contract for Lamar Jackson provided by RSR’s Brian McFarland

For those who claim that the Ravens are cheap and redundantly suggest ON AIR, that team owner Steve Bisciotti never reaches into his pocket, well that’s just short-sighted thinking. It’s also irresponsible journalism.

Let’s not forget that the Ravens signed Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey to top-of-the-market deals. Let’s not forget that they’ve made it a practice to commit to extensions with players before they get to the end of their current deals, in order to prevent open bidding wars that can prove costly – that can boost cash spending. Let’s not forget that outside of a few veterans, the Ravens have a young roster and one of the benefits of a having a younger roster is that those players are paid less – there’s less cash that needs to be spent.

So Mr. Alleged NFL Insider and your body wash sidekick, please spare us the bellyaching about the Ravens and your incessant claims that Steve Bisciotti is Baltimore’s answer to Ebenezer Scrooge. Your cash over cap bits are more like cash over cap…well, you know.

Just remember to flush.

 

Brian McFarland contributed to this article

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