I read many, many posts around here where people say we can or can’t afford free agents, trades, etc. due to our terrible cap situation. I decided to look into it myself to confirm or deny these reports. We do spend close to the cap every year and we’re pretty good about manipulating it to fit our needs.
I’m posting this to show people a simple breakdown of how our cap looks next year and the year after. This cap includes all players currently signed on the team with no alterations. That means I didn’t project any cuts, extensions, restructures in this figures. They also don’t include any bonuses, so the cap space could further decrease (though I can’t imagine by much).
I hope this is enlightening to those of you who feel it’s impossible for us to keep Arthur Jones while having Ngata on the books, to be able to re-sign Dennis Pitta, extend Torrey Smith, pen Eugene Monroe to a long-term deal as well as Jimmy Smith & Daryl Smith on the defensive side.
Remember, the Ravens rarely stand pat and usually release players, so players on here and consumed cap space will likely be further reduced in its consumption by way of cuts, trades, and restructures. So, there is some hope. I hope this reveals that. I posted this as its own topic so others can find it (hopefully) readily whenever needed to use as a reference for their own ideas.
2014 Salary Cap Analysis:
2014 Cap Hits: (Salary) $111,247,762
2014 Dead Money: $3,115,209
Total 2014 Cap Hit: $114,362,971
Projected Cap: $123,000,000
Projected Cap Space: $8,637,029
2014 UFA: TE Dallas Clark, TE Ed Dickson, TE Dennis Pitta, WR Brandon Stokley, WR Jacoby Jones, OL Michael Oher, OL Eugene Monroe, DL Arthur Jones, DL Terrence Cody, LB Daryl Smith, CB Corey Graham, S James Ihedigbo, S Jeromy Miles
FA Breakdown: 3 TE, 2 WR, 2 OL, 2 DL, 1 LB, 1 CB, 2 S with 8 of these players being starters.
2014 RFA: S Anthony Levine, LB Albert McClellan, WR Tandon Doss
2014 ERFA: LB DJ Bryant, LB Josh Bynes, LB Adrian Hamilton
Analysis: Right now, we’re set to lose 8 starters next off-season. We usually re-sign some guys, so I wouldn't expect them to all be lost. I feel like Eugene Monroe & Dennis Pitta are both guaranteed to return with low probability of them being gone. Cody could be had back cheap. I think we’ll target Arthur Jones, though I’m not sure if we can re-sign him. I’m sure Daryl Smith will be some kind of priority.
I’d expect us to not tender McClellan or Levine, though I can see them return a la David Reed & Ramon Harewood. This isn’t including any free agents we may want to sign from other teams. Those value, bargain free agents we like to scoop up from the trash heap. I think we’ll likely tender Tandon Doss.
2015 Salary Cap Analysis:
2015 Cap Hits: (Salary) $86,532,768
2015 Dead Money: $0
Total 2015 Cap Hit: $86,532,768
Projected Cap: $123,000,000
Projected Cap Space: $36,467,232
2015 UFA: DL Marcus Spears, DL Pernell McPhee, LB Jameel McClain, LB Terrell Suggs, CB Jimmy Smith, CB Chykie Brown, QB Tyrod Taylor, FB Vonta Leach, OL Jah Reid, LS Morgan Cox, WR Torrey Smith, WR Tandon Doss
FA Breakdown: 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 CB, 1 QB, 1 FB, 1 OL, 1 LS, 2 WR. We’ll be losing (as of right now based off of their projected status) 6 starters.
2015 RFA: K Justin Tucker, C AQ Shipley, WR Deonte Thompson
Analysis: I believe Torrey’s a done deal in terms of being re-signed unless something crazy happens like an injury or something. I think Suggs gets extended next off-season, making this a moot point.
I think we let Tyrod walk or trade him to acquire picks. Jah Reid, Marcus Spears, Jameel McClain, Vonta Leach are all players we could purge ourselves of in the 2014 off-season, so they might not even be on the team, in which case they would further increase the available cap space.
This is also the final year of Ngata’s deal, making it a very realistic chance he is cut or traded if he continues to not perform to the standards of his contract, further increasing our available cap.
Torrey Smith Contract: Mike Wallace – $12M; Greg Jennings – $9M; Vincent Jackson – $11M. These are three wide receivers I feel will set the benchmark for Torrey come negotiations. The true benchmark will be set by AJ Green & Julio Jones, but these are examples nevertheless as to how the marker is trending and it’s trending up. I think we’re going to end up paying Torrey $12-15M annually. He’s got great character and he’s been very productive.
Dennis Pitta Contract: Jared Cook – $7M; Martellus Bennett – $5M; Delanie Walker – $4.375M; Tony Gonzalez – $7M; Jermichael Finley – $7M; John Carlson – $5M. TE aren’t nearly as expensive. Top money seems to be $7M, and I think Pitta gets closer to $5M if he’s healthy. We’ll probably give him a one-year prove-it deal unless he wants to take a $4-5M average deal for a long-term contract. His biggest issue stems from being an older TE coming off of an injury.
E. Monroe Contract: Sam Baker – $6.8M; Jermon Bushrod – $7.193M; Jake Long – $8.5M. This is a small sample size, but it’s decent enough to compare where Monroe may fall. I’d expect him to get Sam Baker money or perhaps a bit more. He’ll probably get a solid $7M salary, as high as $8M. I think it’ll be closer to $7M, though.
I’ll post more later, but I think this at least gives people an idea and shows that the cap situation isn’t quite as bad. If we re-signed those three guys and included it in our 2015 cap, they account for $26M by themselves. Taking into account how we stagger cap hits, and I don’t think it’ll even be that bad but that’s the average. I also assume the overall cap will increase like it has every year.