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Ravens News 7/19: Roster battles, salary cap update and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Best Competitions at Ravens 2018 Training Camp - Ryan Mink

Wide Receiver

Breshad Perriman, the Ravens’ 2015 first-round pick, is on the bubble. He’s been healthy thus far this offseason, but had some drops in practice this summer and didn’t shine the same way he did last year in Organized Team Activities and minicamp. He has to put it together, and fast, because he’s working against younger competition who may offer more on special teams. Tim White was very impressive last offseason before injuring his thumb and is one of the leading kick/punt return options. The Ravens’ pair of rookie draft picks, Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott, need to prove they can make an immediate impact on offense and special teams.

Inside Linebacker

Albert McClellan has been an integral part of the team for a long time, but he’s going to have to fend off younger, healthier options at his position. Kamalei Correa has primarily moved to outside linebacker, but if he’s going to make the team, he has to show that he’s position flexible and can contribute inside if needed. Bam Bradley will need to show that he’s healthy and can pick up where he left off if he’s going to challenge Patrick Onwuasor for the starting job next to C.J. Mosley.

Rookie receivers Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley will have to earn roster spots among a crowded receiver corps. On defense, the backup inside linebacker competition is wide open, with Albert McClellan, Bam Bradley, Kenny Young and Kamalei Correa likely vying for two jobs.

Countdown to Training Camp 2018 - Brian McFarland

At 12:00 a.m. on the Thursday before the first regular season game (Sept 6th this year), the Rule of 51 expires and teams must have all players – 53-man roster, IR, PUP, PS – fit under the Cap.

The Ravens presently have around $8.8M in Salary Cap space. As of now, there is only one player on IR (OT Steven Moore), so the team will presently have to count the 53 players on the active roster + Moore on IR + anyone that starts the season on PUP + 10 PS players (total of at least $1,292,000) under the Cap. So, as of now, at least 64 players will have count against the Cap at the beginning of the season.

But, as we know, with the inevitability of training camp and preseason injuries on the horizon, that number of players that will likely need to be held under the Cap is going to go up (the Ravens started 2017 with 12 players on IR).

The Ravens can roll over any excess cap space they have not used at the end of this season to 2019. The front office is expected to have approximately $24 million of cap space at their disposal next offseason.

With standout offseason, linebacker Tyus Bowser has the Ravens’ attention - Jonas Shaffer

Clarity on Bowser’s role this season will come sooner than later. For parts of 2017, he was almost anonymous, finishing with 11 tackles, three sacks, three passes defended and one interception.

“His confidence is just, I think, is skyrocketing,” [Mike] Macdonald, his linebackers coach, said at mandatory minicamp. “You can see it in how fast he’s playing. Shoot, he’s got three interceptions out there. He can pluck it for being a guy on the edge. In the meeting room, he really attacks it. His personality is a little more quiet, but it comes out a little bit.

“He really wants to know it, he wants to master it, and you can see it in the way he practices — every rep is 100 percent. He’s been probably our most productive ’backer, in terms of just sacks and interceptions and that sort of thing. I’m really happy in how he’s coming along.”

Tyus Bowser’s inconsistent rookie season came as no surprise. He was always considered to be a bit of a project due to a late start at football. Now with a full professional offseason under his belt, the well rounded and physically gifted linebacker is poised to be a difference maker.