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Baltimore Ravens might be lagging behind in the salary cap management department

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Baltimore Ravens 5-11 record last season, the organization is still one of the elite organizations in the NFL. Over the past 17 seasons overall since 1999, I would say that the Ravens are a top five organization at worst when you consider the fact that the Ravens were still competitive while having a revolving door at the quarterback position from 1999-2007, accumulating 172 wins along with 15 playoff wins (second most in the NFL during that time) and two Super Bowl trophies.

However, all of those achievements doesn't mean that the Ravens are perfect and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. No team in the NFL is perfect not even the New England Patriots as the entire success of the Patriots franchise hinges on the health of Tom Brady. If Brady goes down, they won't see an 11-5 season without him like they did in 2008 at this point in time.

We need to look at the way the Ravens manage its salary cap and to me, it doesn't look good especially on a roster that doesn't have a whole lot of depth. A lot of the critique of salary cap management from time to time is hindsight 20/20 and I admit that I am guilty of that sometimes.

But when you look at the Ravens salary cap hits with the following players on the Ravens roster and you can begin to see that the Ravens can do better with the way the organization manages its salary cap.

Take a look at the salary cap hits between these four players during this 2016 season:

  • Defensive back Lardarius Webb (10 million dollar cap hit in 2016)
  • Left tackle Eugene Monroe (8.7 million dollar cap hit in 2016)
  • Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (7.4 million dollar cap hit in 2016)
  • Tight end Dennis Pitta (7.2 million dollar cap hit in 2016)
-Out of the four players above, I give the Ravens a pass for giving Monroe a five year contract worth 37.5 million during the 2014 offseason. Nobody knew that Monroe would miss 18 games since he signed that contract. Monroe was only inactive for four games with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009-2013 until he was traded to Baltimore in the middle of the 2013 season.

-The Pitta contract which was signed during the 2014 offseason which was a five year deal worth 32 million can be criticized a little bit. Not too much but a little bit. You have to remember that Pitta at the time was the go to guy for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and nobody really thought much of the the hip injury Pitta sustained during the 2013 training camp session.

But giving that kind of money to a player who was dealing with a dislocated hip and it is risky. The Ravens know that for sure.

-The Suggs situation can certainly be criticized because while it is always good to have a player of the caliber of Suggs, he was still 31 years old at the time he signed the contract and over the next three seasons (Assuming Suggs is on the Ravens roster through the duration of his contract) his cap number will total over 20 million dollars.

I don't know what the Ravens were thinking when they thought that a 6.9 million dollar cap hit at the age of 35 and 36 respectively would be a good idea in Suggs situation. Suggs is also recovering from his second torn Achilles injury in the last four seasons.

-Webb's contract might be the worst one. Good player yes, but his cap number is 10 million dollars this season which is the second highest on the Ravens roster behind Flacco's 22 million cap hit for this season. The Ravens have already stated that Webb isn't going anywhere this season and that's fine. But something needs to be done about his 10 million dollar cap number.That can't stay the way it is.

And in Webb's case, it isn't like he has proven that can stay healthy consistently over the course of his career since being drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft but they gave him a six year deal worth 50 million during the 2012 offseason anyways and they have had to re-work his contract ever since.

The Ravens do not have a lot of room to work with which is why the organization had to restructure Marshal Yanda's contract to free up nearly four million dollars. The Ravens had to get cornerback Kyle Arrington to take a pay cut as well as restructuring cornerback Jimmy Smith's contract.

A lot of people want to make a big deal about Flacco's contract and how it is eating up space but I don't buy that argument. Flacco isn't the only quarterback in the NFL who has gotten paid well.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been paid well as he is currently the second highest paid player in the league and the Packers still have over 20 million dollars in cap space. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is getting paid well just like Rodgers and Flacco, but the Panthers still have over 20 million dollars in cap space.

Mind you, the Packers and the Panthers have more depth than the Ravens do on its roster. The Ravens had a little over 6 million dollars in cap space to spend before free agency started.


It is looking more and more likely that the Ravens might have to strongly consider trading back with its sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Ravens are projected to have seven draft picks in the first-four rounds this year.

There's nothing wrong with the Ravens trading back and gaining maybe 10 or 11 draft picks in the first four rounds of the draft this year.