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Ravens hope to keep Haloti Ngata, acknowledge it could be difficult

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If all the Ravens wanted to do was restructure Haloti Ngata's contract, wouldn't have it been done by now?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, the Ravens restructure defensive tackle Haloti Ngata's deal and make him a member of the organization for life.

The reality is that both sides need to come to an agreement to fix the $16 million cap figure he has for this season. On top of that, they need to figure out an agreement that makes sense so that the two sides aren't coming back to the table to fix the same problem in two years, too.

Reading between the lines, more than a simple restructure seems to be taking place between both parties. If it was as simple as reworking the numbers, an agreement would have been easy to reach by now.

If neither side can agree to a deal, the Ravens, as history as shown, would be willing to part ways with the veteran defensive tackle. Of course, that's not what the Ravens want.

"You go back to [Terrell] Suggs, we were able to successfully do that, which doesn't guarantee that he retires as a Raven, but it certainly guaranteed that we would play him well into his 30s," Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said at this week's State of the Ravens press conference. "We were successful with Ray [Lewis]; we were unsuccessful with Ed [Reed]. I put Haloti in that group of iconic players that helped us to get where we are as a franchise. Again, that's [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome's] job to negotiate the nuances of those contracts that allow us to get some cap relief and give Haloti a chance to stay here. Twenty-eight teams don't have Royal Farms stores in their area, so there is some incentive for him to want to stay here to close things out."

Bisciotti saying that Newsome's job is to "negotiate the nuances of those contracts" leads me to believe they're asking Ngata to take a pay cut, regardless of any reports indicating the Ravens have offered Ngata a nice deal. If any restructured deal only lowered the cap number and didn't cause Ngata to lose any money over the remaining years he currently has, then it would have been done by now. Silence can be deafening.

The Ravens have let plenty of veteran players walk over the years — Willis McGahee, Kelly Gregg and Todd Heap are prime examples other than Reed. Though the Ravens want Ngata back, it sure looks like it won't be as easy as moving some numbers around on his current contract.

"We like to retain our football players, and we also like to be able to create some cap room," Newsome said.