With the end of the Super Bowl, the 2012 season is now basically upon us. The NFL Scouting Combine begins in a little over two weeks and then free agency opens up on March 13th. The 2012 NFL Draft is at the end of April and unlike last year, when the NFL Lockout prevented teams from filling holes before the draft through free agency, this will be a very important free agency period.
Thanks to information from Mac's Football Blog, we have the full list of Baltimore Ravens players who are under contract or what level of free agent they will be in 2012. Franchise Tags will be placed on players between February 20th and March 5th. while tenders will begin being placed on Restricted Free Agents in the coming weeks. There are minimum amounts for the right to place a tender on a player, slightly different from past years due to new language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Even without a new contract, Ravens QB Joe Flacco reached certain individual-specific performance levels in this season to warrant an automatic increase in his 2012 salary, going from what would have been $4.61 million to now going up to $6.76 million, a raise of $2.5 million.
The team would like to get Flacco signed to a long-term contract extension that would negate this "raise." LT Bryant McKinnie is also worth mentioning, as he is the only other Ravens player in this situation, with incentives reached to move his 2012 salary from $2.0 to $3.2 million, a healthy enough of a raise to keep him in Baltimore for at least one more year while the team determines its future at left tackle.
According to Mac's Football Blog, the Ravens have 44 players under contract for the 2012 season, with eight Exclusive Rights and three Restricted Free Agents. Ray Rice is one of 13 players who are scheduled to become Unrestricted Free Agents as of March 8th, unless of course, the team uses the Franchise Tag on Rice as rumored, which must be placed no later than March 5th.
In addition to Rice, the other 12 Unrestricted Free Agents include: Ben Grubbs, Jarret Johnson, Jameel McClain, Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura, Cory Redding, Matt Birk, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Andre Gurode, Brandon McKinney, Kris Wilson and Edgar Jones.
The Ravens' Restricted Free Agents include: Dannell Ellerbe, Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams. The Exclusive Rights Free Agents include: Sergio Kindle, Justin Boren, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, Matt Lawrence, Danny Gorrer, Chavis Williams and Morgan Cox.