An Early Look at the Baltimore Ravens' 2013 Salary Cap Situation
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Though the 2012 NFL season has yet to begin, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be thinking about next year—front offices certainly are. Though major 2013 personnel decisions rest heavily on this season's performance, teams still must consider their next year's finances when determining who may or may not get paid.
With that in mind, let's break down the Baltimore Ravens' 2013 salary cap situation and see where they need to spend money most.
2012 Salary Cap: $120.6 million
Projected 2013 Salary Cap: $121.1 million
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Before signing running back Ray Rice to his new deal, the Ravens had $15 million in projected cap space for 2013. Now that he'll be a cap hit of $5.75 million next season, the Ravens are down to just over $9 million with which to work next season.
There are a number of priority areas in which the Ravens must spend between now and the start of the next league year and not a lot of money to go around, so Baltimore will again have to pick and choose when it comes to the free agents it can retain.
Where to Spend the Cash?
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Without question, the Ravens' top priority is to extend the contract of quarterback Joe Flacco well before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next spring. Chances are this deal could get done before the start of this season, and depending on the cost and the structure, that could leave Baltimore with significantly less money than they have at present.
That kind of money has driven the price of quarterbacks up, and Flacco—who, by the way, has been one of the reasons the Ravens have reached the playoffs each of the four years he's been under center—could end up with around $70 or 75 million over four or five years.
Larry French/Getty Images
Free safety Ed Reed has also made no secret out of wanting a contract extension of his own. Reed is also set for free agency in 2013, and though he may not get the four or five years he seems interested in, the Ravens will obviously work to get him a deal worth his impressive accomplishments.
After Reed and Flacco get paid, there won't be a lot of money to go around without a few expensive cuts or veteran restructures. In 2013 alone, the following players are set to be unrestricted free agents: linebacker Paul Kruger, tight end Dennis Pitta and cornerback Cary Williams. Their restricted free agents include tight end Ed Dickson, linebacker Sergio Kindle and wide receiver LaQuan Williams.
At the very least, the Ravens need to lock down their two tight ends, whether that means using the franchise tag on one and a round-based tender on the other or making long-term deals. The others may become cap casualties simply because of the lack of available money.
This means the Ravens cannot look too far into the future at players who will be in their contract years in 2013 and try to give them pre-emptive deals. These players are some of the Ravens' most important—receiver Anquan Boldin, offensive tackle Michael Oher, fullback Vonta Leach, cornerback Corey Graham, defensive tackle Terrence Cody—but they will likely have to wait another year for any potential payday to come.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?