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[News] 10 Biggest Offseason Questions

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The Ravens have a number of offseason questions after winning Super Bowl XLVII.

[url=http://www.baltimoreravens.com/news/article-1/10-Biggest-Offseason-Questions/b28fbb78-f92b-45fc-b489-5077fbfd5a71]View the full article[/url]
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does signing bonuses count towards salary cap? can they give them signing bonuses and min. vets salary
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Man o man I wouldn't want to be in Ozzie's shoes right now,this off season will separate the men from the boys for sure, a lot of teams are paying attention to the Raven's rejected this off season
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Ray Lewis' retirement should give us some breathing room right? but Purple nd Black is right...
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Uhm uhm good thing im not ozzie, erick, dick, john and steve lmao :Dancing_Banana_Homer_by_zorkky: . Only thing i can contribute are my opinions lol.
Joe Flacco will be the leader of the team cause he produces in major games unlike Ray Rice needs to stop fumbling in the playoffs lol really man. Also Pierce had an 100X better playoff play then our rice
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I remember reading that if the FO doesn't Franchise Joe E-Lite, then they will not use the F/T at all? Am I correct in having read that?

1. I wonder why the FO would sorta "tip their hand" so to speak, especially in reference to Kruger and Ellerbe's pending contracts? Wouldn't it be prudent have the tag available?

2. We have some bright stars on the horizon in Upshaw, Jackson on Dee and Doss and Pierce on Oh, I suppose what we're hearing is we're going to give them a chance to mature before our next strong run at the SB!
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One thing I'm sure about: we'll have an interesting team next year, probably another winning one (although the schedule is really nasty), and we'll support it with the same passion.
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Oh, and considering that Matt Birk does more than typical Centers do, it's a good shot that Gino Gradkowski, his heir-apparent, will be up to the task?
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I can't wait to win it all again this upcoming season! The motivation should be what Jacoby Jones was saying: "I want everybody to go back to sleep on us like they did already."!! Go Ravens!!! :)
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[quote name='omar586' timestamp='1360603085' post='1354459']
does signing bonuses count towards salary cap? can they give them signing bonuses and min. vets salary
[/quote]

Yes, signing bonuses count but not in the same way. Bonuses are pro-rated over the life of the contract (or 5 years, whichever is less). A $20 million bonus on a 5 year contract would "count" $4 million against the cap each year.
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You can bet 31 other teams will be paying attention to who we keep and who we let go. They remind me of my dogs at the kitchen table just waiting for something to fall...
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@Omar586: I believe you can't give a signing bonus to any of the players on the existing roster even if they restructure or extend their contract. You can only give to to a player that is acquired newly.
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Well atleast we won't have a boring offseason. Things will be done to this team that will change it drastically, and we will be happy about some and sad about others, but we just have to trust the FO. But no matter what, the Ravens are going to look very different next season.
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Does and Williams together couldn't fill one of Anquan's shoes let alone both of them. If that were to be our plan upon releasing Boldin it would be a huge mistake.
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[quote name='Chewi28' timestamp='1360606076' post='1354531']
Does and Williams together couldn't fill one of Anquan's shoes let alone both of them. If that were to be our plan upon releasing Boldin it would be a huge mistake.
[/quote]

Agreed! If you have to pick another offensive MVP during the playoffs other than Joe my vote would be Boldin. The guy made so many plays to keep drives going and was unstoppable in the endzone.
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O line - I actually hope Birk retires, because I think we'll be releasing him if he plans to play on. It is just a much better way for him to bow out.

McKinnie is a major head-scratcher. Our o-line was infinitely improved with him in the lineup, but what will his demands for a contract be? I think he'll try to use his post-season performance to grab one last payday and it will be too rich for us (and besides, I think the organization is weary from his approach to the sport).

So, if I then assume that McKinnie will go, who takes LT? Are the Ravens finally going to give up on Oher being an LT? I don't know that we can expect to draft a starting LT and given our cap issues, we can't get one through FA ... so what then? I have felt there is a possibility that the team moves KO to that position, but I've not heard anyone mention that as a possibility.
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Ngata is the highest paid Raven. then Reed and then Flacco. Ray Lewis is 5th so him being gone may help, but i dont think to the extent we all thought it would
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Keep in mind Ravensnation, although we may have to let some beloved players go, there are quite a few teams that are going to have to release some players as well (cough Steelers cough)..We are not alone. Just remember we have the best GM and front office in the league. Trust in Ozzie!
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I dont want to see anyone go,but at the same time Im still kind of excited about what transpires.I was worried especially about the season just gone by with JJ,Cory Redding etc leaving,but from now on il trust Ozzie and the gang.Plus Webb will be back,and Suggs should recover fully.Ray Lewis,while still a great reader of what the offence was doing,was slowing up gradually and he can be replaced by someone with alot more speed.
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Keep in mind this player if we can't resign Paul Kruger: Margus Hunt!

Why not put Upshaw in the Middle?
-4

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I wonder how much money Reed would be sacrificing in retirement from local appearances and signings if he leaves for the next 2 years? Especially since the 2 top teams that I see going after him would be NE or INDY. Would that hurt his local reputation in Baltimore or would we all understand? I would also love to have him as a coach once he retires and he has mentioned a desire to do so. Would we see him differently? I hope we never have to find out.
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I believe the Ravens are going to shock us with some moves that nobody is expecting. I believe they are gonna dump Suggs. He is 30 years old and coming of achilles tendon surgery. Nobody can predict whether he ever returns to his 2011 form. His cap number is too large to take a chance on him
-6

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i guess you cant blame flacco or suggs for grabbing as much as they can. but it stinks that so much of our money will be tied up in a handful of players. it decimates the team. on D, williams, kruger, reed and lewis (obviously) are gone. we just cant pay them all. on O, i think they will let mckinnie go and leach. i hope they can release and resign boldin.
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Damn it felt strange to not have any football this past Sunday. The Ravens has always spoiled me and thousand other fans in this city and other states and now that we're champs I'm spoiled a hundreds times worse and ready for the 2013 season.
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Re: How will the Ravens replace Ray Lewis

That's the wrong question to ask. As a team, you need the a stud on the d-line, you need a stud for the back of the defense, and you need great linebacker play.

No one else can play like Ed Reed...we just need someone in the secondary to make big plays, or we need the secondary as a collective unit to make big plays. No one else can play like Goose or McQuary, we just need big guys in the middle - like Haloti that can control the LOS.

Stop looking for another Ray Lewis. What linebacker played at a high level for 17 years? No other. We just need another guy that can come in and play alongside Suggs, Ellerbe (hopefully), and Upshaw...depending on what the base formation will be. And that guy needs to be able to come in and make plays for another 6 or 7 years.

You keep looking for another Ed Reed, Haloti, Ray, and you'll be gravely disappointed. We need a playmaker at each level of the defense. That's it!
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@ravenmaniac1123 - i also think cutting one trading of those guys...either suggs or ngata, could be a possibility. there will be other veteran FA's available for less. i think there are hidden cap costs though if we cut them. we are on the hook for signing bonus money, although i dont know the exact numbers. so i dont know who would be more advantageous to move. they just have too much money tied up in the D-line. a more balanced talent overall on D would help.
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[quote name='ravenmaniac1123' timestamp='1360610921' post='1354603']
I believe the Ravens are going to shock us with some moves that nobody is expecting. I believe they are gonna dump Suggs. He is 30 years old and coming of achilles tendon surgery. Nobody can predict whether he ever returns to his 2011 form. His cap number is too large to take a chance on him
[/quote]

I understand what you are saying, but the problem is - I don't think that move would provide us relief in the current year. My understanding of the cap rules is that you end up in current year dead money all bonus money that remains on the contract. Suggs is still due over 11M in bonus cash and his 2013 cap number is 13M - so only a 2M savings in 2013 cap.

However ... if Suggs doesn't return to near DPOY form in 2013, I do think he'll be a casualty going into 2014, when a cut will net a cap savings of close to 8M.

I'm even more worried about Ngata going forward. If his performance drops off next year, we'll be in a worse situation, as he under contract through 2015 (where Suggs is under contract through 2014).

I may be wrong about how I'm viewing the cap impact on releasing Suggs, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.
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[quote name='designermaryland' timestamp='1360611965' post='1354614']
@balfan23 - what happens though if you trade them? i would assume the new team would assume the contract and bonuses?
[/quote]

I thought that would depend on the terms of the trade.... However, I think we'd be in the same boat in that the rules state ... "If a player is traded OR waived, any remaining prorated signing bonus money automatically accelerates against the current year’s cap."

So you end up with the same dead money problem in that Suggs' 11 M in remaining bonus money would hit us right out of the gate. You'd still have to get the new team to take on his base salary. So this only becomes slightly better of an option than a straight up cut - if the new team provides a decent player/draft pick(s) in return.
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Never fear,the Wizard of Oz is here.Ozzie will find a way to stretch a big time payday out for Flacco along with the other guys.
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trading suggs would be exceptionally difficult, as a large portion of what he earns was bonus. teams do this because you can amortize their bonus, even though it is up front money, over the life of the contract. If you trade a player, the new team assumes the player's contract, but NOT the bonus. The remainder of that bonus is accelerated and hits the cap IN THE YEAR OF THE TRADE. That is why you hardly ever see trades in the NFL, the cap hit is usually too big.

I believe it would be a mistake to release Suggs. He came back from a major injury and started playing very well in the playoffs. He was excellent in the super bowl, performing his assignment of keeping Kaepernick from getting to the edge very well. I am certain he will return to form in 2013 and be a top notch pass rusher as well as a great run defender. He will be our best defensive player in the 2013 season again.
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I really, really, really don't want to see Q OR Vonta go. Vonta may seriously be one of the most under-appreciated players on the team.
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I predict next year will be a down year for the organization. Item #10 will be the primary reason why. Next year will be a 'catch your breathe" kinda year for the team. Offense will be productive, but I predict the defense will really struggle next year, leading to enough losses that the Ravens will miss the playoffs next season. Just my gut feeling.
-6

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Well; I'm on the 49er's web site right now as we speak. Apperently the 49ers have just sign 6 reserve/future contracts. Go have a peep, to see who they are.

I could have put in their link. But I'm sure you know the way to Sanfrancisco. LOL!
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I'm hoping we see Ellerbe and McKinnie back of the question mark players. Those 2 stepped up big time in the playoffs. Ellerbe, however, is injury prone.
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LouieDaLug, I understand why you think that, but I disagree. We will lose Cary Williams but get back Lardarius Webb. I think everyone here will agree that Lardarius is a huge upgrade over Cary. Kruger will likely be gone, but Suggs will be back and 100%. I really like Kruger, but I would take a healthy Suggs over Kruger ANY day. Ngata can get some time to get back to 100%, and Ozzie already said he is going to address our needs at defensive tackle, which is a huge need, Kemoeatu and Cody were not very good this year. Don't forget Jameel McClain will be back as well. If we can draft an ILB and keep Ed Reed around, I see this defense being pretty good again next year.
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For me the biggest questions are
1. Are the young guys gonna step up that's the real key Josh Bynes Omar Brown Asa Jackson Doss possibly McAdoo
2. Can Oz get some real good late round steals that would really help and mask the loss of veterans
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