Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta addressed the media on Tuesday morning, revealing some information about the upcoming offseason plans for the team. With the current salary cap situation around the league, many have speculated that Baltimore could cut veteran DT Brandon Williams to free up needed cap space, but DeCosta shot that notion down.
DeCosta said he expects Brandon Williams to be on the team in 2021. Williams has been mentioned as potential cap casualty. Ravens clearly would prefer avoiding that.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) March 9, 2021
Cutting Williams would free up $7.5 million for the Ravens. While that money would be extremely helpful, Baltimore would prefer to keep the veteran run-stuffer around. Williams has been an integral part of the Ravens’ defense for the better part of a decade now, specifically in stopping the run. Without Williams on the field, Baltimore has struggled mightily against the run. Without a clear replacement for Williams on the roster, it makes sense to keep him around until one is found.
There is certainly a case for cutting Williams, however, as detailed by Kyle Barber in a recent article.
Stopping the run has become increasingly devalued in the modern NFL, making pure run-stuffers like Williams less of a focus. The Ravens currently have a little over $18 million in team cap space according to overthecap.com, and with only one outside linebacker under contract, the $7.5 million saved by cutting Williams would go a long way in helping to fill out the roster at the position.
It is possible for Baltimore to either restructure Williams’ contract or extend him to open up cap space as well. This could help the Ravens immediately while also giving them more time to find a suitable replacement for Williams.