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Ravens News 1/31: Minimum cash spending and more

NFL: Super Bowl LIV-AFC Champions-Press Conference Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Minimum Cash Spending in 2020 - Jason Fitzgerald

Ravens, $47 million under– Between a tight salary cap and a cautious approach to extensions and free agency the Ravens have been one of the lowest cost teams in the NFL. Certainly this year they got the most bang for the buck with a low cost team that outperformed all expectations going into the season. The team will probably spend around $15 million on draft picks so they are still well under. This is likely part of the reason why rumors are circulating that the team is considering franchising Matt Judon. A tag for Judon would cost around $16 million and put them much closer to the number. Even if the tag was simply just to trade him part of that logic I am sure is that the most they could receive as compensation is a 3 and that would require extra care in free agency something they couldn’t pull off last year with Za’Darius Smith. The Ravens did increase payroll last year (they went from being close to the lowest spending team in the NFL for 17 and 18 to around 20th in 2019) and did sign Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram but if there was a year for this team to be even more active in free agency this is probably the year. This is probably a logical spot for some veteran players to chase a ring.

Baltimore Ravens position review: Tons of talent, interesting choices to make at cornerback - Aaron Kasinitz

Top offseason questions

1) Is Smith or Carr worth the investment?

At 31, Smith still has the size, speed and physicality to serve as a starting cornerback in the NFL. Some team would probably pay him as such on the open market. Still, it’s possible that the Ravens would reach to re-sign him if they can open a role for him on defense and think he’d provided needed insurance in the secondary.

Money always matters, of course. But Smith, a 2011 first-round pick of the Ravens, might also need to decide whether he puts greater value into remaining with the team that drafted him or stepping into a full-step starting job elsewhere.

Carr’s appeal comes in the form of durability and versatility. In 2019, he played as an outside corner, inside corner and safety. He’s made 192 consecutive starts, easily the longest streak among active defensive players across the NFL.

Most teams would prefer the $7 million in salary cap space to a player whose main purpose is to provide flexibility and depth. Carr isn’t like most players, however. And the Ravens’ aren’t like most teams when it comes to roster configuration on defense.

That makes Baltimore’s looming decisions at cornerback fascinating — even if they have three starters in place.

Here’s What Terrell Suggs Is Saying at the Super Bowl - Clifton Brown

Suggs will always be most associated with the Ravens as the franchise’s all-time sack leader and a longtime linchpin in their defense. He’s enjoying his Super Bowl ride with the Chiefs, but his bond with Baltimore remains intact.

”You’re always going to have feelings for your first love,” Suggs said via Newsday. “There’s always going to be something there. It’s your first love.”

“It was bittersweet,” Suggs said after that game in September. “It was good to be back, and it was great to play in the stadium where I played most of my career. I really wanted to win, but this was the weirdest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”

Suggs will always remember the feeling of winning a Super Bowl with the Ravens. Now he wants to make another special memory with the Chiefs.

”Let everybody enjoy everything else, but we’re here to play a football game,” Suggs said via the New York Post. “If we win, we’ll enjoy this for the rest of our lives.”