In order to manage a payroll that exceeds $120 million a year, NFL teams must look far into the future. The Baltimore Ravens are no different and before offering multi-million dollar deals to free agents, they look at what contracts they will have to honor in the future, as well as what players will need to be re-signed.
In 2014, the Ravens will be paying QB Joe Flacco a lot more than his cap hit in the first season of his new$120.6 million deal. Both Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata not only have big cap hits this year, their 2014 numbers are even higher and may have to be addressed, re-structured or dare we say, terminated?
The list of expected free agents a year from now includes a group of players who will obviously want to get their second and perhaps biggest contract of their NFL careers. This group will include, Michael Oher, Vonta Leach, Jacoby Jones, Corey Graham, Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, LaQuan Williams, Michael McAdoo, James Ihedigbo, Albert McClellan, Ramon Harewood and Chris Johnson.
Many of these names will be dealt with prior to the end of next season. A few may have their contracts extended, others let go and still some open for negotiation. With competition on the Super Bowl champs expected to be tough, there remains definite possibilities that some of these names do not survive training camp cuts before the 2013 NFL season kicks off.
The Ravens are among the best at managing their roster from a financial standpoint, as the past two months should have convinced everyone that the front office knows exactly what they are doing. 2013 is just starting and the 2014 season will bring challenges that are currently unforeseen. However, as we have been humbled by the Ravens General Manager lately, it is still, "In Ozzie We Trust."