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How the salary cap could affect Ravens veterans this offseason

The Ravens' top decision-makers are due to meet at owner Steve Bisciotti's Jupiter, Fla., home over the weekend and begin formulating plans for an important offseason.

They are expected to continue to evaluate the team's roster, building off the personnel meetings they had this month. They are also to discuss their class of free agents and their chances of re-signing specific targets, and to review other players who are expected to hit the open market March 9. And, above all, they'll review where the team stands under the salary cap. Early reports are that the cap, which was $143.3 million this season, could rise between $8 million and $10 million in 2016.The Ravens face their usual offseason financial juggling act: trying to re-sign a couple of free agents — offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and kicker Justin Tucker are considered their big three — while filling other holes.The “dead money” the Ravens had on this year's salary cap from Ray Rice's release and Haloti Ngata's trade is gone, but other challenges remain. Can the Ravens truly accommodate quarterback Joe Flacco's $28.55 million salary cap hit? Is the best option to use the franchise tag on Tucker, or can they strike a deal on an extension? What should be done with injured tight end Dennis Pitta?Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said last week that while he didn't expect the team to be very active in free agency, the money would be available to sign a player whom the team really coveted. Here are 10 players under contract with the Ravens who could be candidates for a restructure, release or contract renegotiation.

Jeff Zrebiec
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