The Baltimore Ravens need to clear some cap room for the 2016 season, and moving some money from quarterback Joe Flacco's salary would seem to be the easiest way to do so. With the Ravens and Flacco's agent reported to be sitting down this weekend at the combine, I figured a look at what the Ravens would have to offer Flacco to make it happen would make sense.
Brian McFarland of Russell Street Report is the best source for a breakdown of the Ravens cap, so I took a look at what he had to say on the matter. The Ravens want to move money out of 2016, but they cannot just convert some of the 2016 base salary into a bonus, because that would spread it into 2017 and 2018, and the cap hit for 2017 is already a daunting $31 million, higher than in 2016. So pushing money into the last 2 years of the contract is not feasible. The only option this leaves is an extension which moves money out of 2016 and 2017 and spreads it out over the term of the new extension, likely another 2 or 3 years.
What would the Ravens have to give Flacco for him to be amenable to that?
Per McFarland, there are two things the Ravens can dangle before Flacco to get him to sign on the dotted line:
So how much more money are we talking about?
McFarland thinks a structure like this would make sense for both sides, and create cap room for 2016 and 2017 for the Ravens, keeping the cap numbers relatively flat so the team doesn't end up in the pickle they are in right now:
Hopefully these negotiations will be quick and easy. Both sides know what they want, all they need to do is make the necessary concessions and by next week, the Ravens could be the proud owner of another $8 million in cap space. Quarterback Joe Flacco can be the proud leader of a team with more space in their checkbook to go and improve the roster. As they say, it is win-win!