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Ravens have second-worst cap situation in the league

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The Ravens are paying for some big contracts in the past.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have built themselves on making smart and economical moves in both the draft and in free agency. Unfortunately, some moves that certainly looked smart at the time are going to end up hurting the Ravens big time.

The organization heads into the crucial free agency period with only about $3.5 million in cap room. This is second to only the Buffalo Bills, who are about $8 million dollars over the limit.

What's even more worrisome is that the Ravens still have to either resign or franchise tag Justin Tucker to the tune of $4.5 million. The team also will likely place a second-round tender on Kamar Aiken, which will cost them $2.5 million against the cap. This places the team's offseason flexibility to make moves in serious limbo.

The team's sticky situation is a direct result of some contracts that haven't panned out. The contracts of Lardarius Webb, Eugene Monroe, and Dennis Pitta account for $25.9 million, or 16.8 percent of Baltimore's cap. All three have massively missed the expectations that the Ravens had in mind for them when the ink dried on their contracts. While the easy move to most armchair general managers would be to cut them, the result would put the Ravens in an even worse situation of having $19 million in dead money to make only $6.7 million in cap space.

In addition to figuring out what to do with the above trio, the Ravens also have to have the restructuring of Joe Flacco's contract on the top of their offseason to-do-list. Flacco accounts for $28.55 million of the cap, or 18.5 percent of the $154 million cap.

It's a crucial time for the Ravens, as what they do with these contracts determines what they'll be able to do for this offseason and the coming years. But if there's one thing that Ozzie Newsome and his staff have proven over the years, it would be that they always manage to come out ahead.