Here’s a look at the Baltimore Ravens Salary Cap for 2012. Unfortunately I don’t know how to insert a table or I would give you the current salaries of each player under contract. I have pulled this salary information from several sources, so while I can’t be sure it is exactly accurate, I think it is pretty darn close.
2011 Roster: My list includes 53 players who were under contract with the Ravens in 2011 with a total Salary Cap number of $119,781,963. The cap number for 2011 was $120M.
2012 Roster: The Salary Cap for 2012 has not yet been set, but the rumor is that it will not change substantially from 2011, so we’ll work with a $125M Salary Cap for now in trying to set the roster.
The Ravens have 32 players under contract for 2012 with a Cap Number of $105,071,286. This includes Dominique Foxworth’s cap number of $8.3M. Assuming Foxworth gets released (a pretty fair assumption), you lose his salary but take a onetime hit for his remaining bonus money of $2.7M, therefore the savings is $5.6M. So we start with 31 players at $99,471,286.
The Ravens have 4 Restricted Free Agents (LB Dannell Ellerbe, RB Matt Lawrence, CB Lardarius Webb, CB Cary Williams). For RFA’s, the Ravens have the chance to offer them a tender, attached to a draft pick. If another team wants to sign them, we would first be able to match that offer. If we chose not to match, the other team would have to forfeit the corresponding draft pick to the Ravens in order to sign the player. Following are the Qualifying Offer amounts for 2011. Note these amounts will increase for 2012 between 5% and 10% based on the Salary Cap increase.
• Right of First Refusal and Draft Selection at Player’s Original Draft Round: one year Contract with Salary of at least $1,200,000, or 110% of the player’s prior year’s Salary, whichever is greater.
• Right of First Refusal, One Second Round Draft Selection: one year Contract with Salary of at least $1,835,000, or 110% of the player’s prior year’s Salary, whichever is greater.
• Right of First Refusal and One First Round Draft Selection: one year Contract with a Salary of at least $2,611,000, or 110% of the player’s prior year’s Salary, whichever is greater.
Given that Webb is worth more than his original 3rd round selection and Williams more than his 7th round, I see the Ravens giving Qualifying Offers to Webb (1st Round) and Williams (2nd Round). So add another $4,668,300 bringing the cap for 37 players to $106,449,586.
Now to address UFA’s in order of priority and my projections for their value.
• Ray Rice: $7.71M (Franchise Tag)
• Ben Grubbs: $4M (Yanda’s Cap in 2011)
• Andre Gurode: $3M (Birk’s Cap in 2011)
• Jarret Johnson: $3.5M (His salary in 2011 – no bonus)
• Jameel McClain: $2.5M (Just a guess)
• Cory Redding: $2.5M (His salary in 2011 – no bonus)
• Brandon McKinney: $1.4M (His salary in 2011 – no bonus)
• Brendon Ayanbadejo: $775,000 (His salary in 2011 – no bonus)
• Haruki Nakamura: $775,000 (Just a guess)
• Tom Zbikowski: $775,000 (Just a guess)
Just signing Rice, Grubbs and Gurode brings the Salary Cap to $121,159,586 for 40 players. That leaves less than $4M for the remaining 13 players, or less than $300K/player. That won’t work. At best, we retain Rice and Grubbs or Gurode. Drafting Peter Koontz sounding better to anyone?
Possible cuts: To free up Salary Cap room, here are the most likely players to be cut.
• Chris Carr: $4.25M cap number. $2.5M unpaid bonus. Net savings $1.75M.
• Ricky Williams: $2,725,000 cap number.
• Lee Evans: $4,775,000 cap number.
Tough choices, but I can see any or all three of them being cut to create cap space.
UFA Market: 2012 will be one of the largest UFA classes ever. Charley Casserly reported that nearly 25% of all NFL players will be UFA’s in 2012. Combine that with a slight increase in the Salary Cap, and you have a Buyer’s Market. So expect the Ravens to make a few cuts to free up some cap room.