By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
8:22 AM EDT, March 21, 2013
The Super Bowl champion Ravens aren't totally hamstrung by a relatively tight salary-cap situation. But there are some notable constraints on their spending.
Under the rule of 51 that governs the offseason accounting for the salary cap, the Ravens are currently $7.207 million under the NFL salary-cap limit of $123 million.
That includes the $1.182 million carried over from last year and dead money for inside linebacker Ray Lewis ($2.95 million), kicker Billy Cundiff ($1.8 million), wide receiver Anquan Boldin ($1.531 million), center Matt Birk ($1.4 million) and offensive guard Bobbie Williams ($400,000).
The top 10 salary-cap figures on the roster are: 1. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs ($13.02 million), 2. defensive tackle Haloti Ngata ($11.5 million), 3. Offensive guard Marshal Yanda ($7.45 million), 4. Quarterback Joe Flacco ($6.8 million), 5. Running back Ray Rice ($5.75 million), 6. Cornerback Lardarius Webb ($5.385 million), 7. Offensive tackle Michael Oher ($4.955 million), 8. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones ($4.9 million), 9. Fullback Vonta Leach ($4.33 million) and 10. Inside linebacker Jameel McClain ($4.2 million).
Strong safety Bernard Pollard was designated as a post June 1 terminated contract, meaning he still counts on the books for $2.75 million, including his $2 million base salary and $750,000 in bonus proration from his $3 million signing bonus last year.
After June 1, the Ravens will realize a savings of $2 million against the salary cap for the 2013 fiscal year. All that will be left over is the $750,000 from his bonus already paid out last year.
The Ravens avoided having to pay Pollard a $500,000 roster bonus that was due on the fourth day of the league year.
Pollard originally carried a $3.25 million salary-cap figure for this year.
In 2014, the Ravens will have $1.5 million in dead money with the acceleration of his two remaining years of $750,000 bonus proration.
If the Ravens had not designated Pollard as a post June 1 release, the Ravens couldn't have spread out the dead money and they would have only gained $1 million in salary-cap savings for 2013.
The Ravens' salary cap is managed by veteran vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, a former Cleveland Browns running back who worked in the corporate lending division for Key Bank in Cleveland prior to joining the Browns' front office in 1994 as director of business operations.
The latest contract negotiated by Moriarty was a two-year deal for defensive lineman Marcus Spears with a maximum value of $3.55 million and a base value of $2.75 million.
The deal, negotiated by agents Pat Dye Jr. and Bill Johnson, includes a $600,000 signing bonus, nonguaranteed base salaries of $900,000 and $1.275 million and $800,000 in incentives in 2013 based on sacks and playing time.
Spears' salary-cap figure for 2013 is $1.2 million, and his 2014 cap figure is $1.55 million.
The Ravens' potential upcoming negotiations could include safety Michael Huff, who's scheduled to visit this week, and Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
The Ravens are extremely interested in Dumervil, who has yet to accept the Denver Broncos' latest contract offer after being cut last Friday following a paperwork debacle involving a late-arriving fax. The delay forced the Broncos to cut him rather than have his scheduled $12 million base salary become fully guaranteed for skill, injury and cap.
The Ravens have yet to make overtures toward Green Bay Packers free agent inside linebacker Brad Jones or Buffalo Bills free agent linebacker Nick Barnett, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation. ... It's been an extremely slow market so far for Ravens free agent offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who remains in a holding pattern waiting for other offensive tackles to sign deals like Eric Winston, Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith. McKinnie got a preliminary call at the start of free agency from the Chicago Bears prior to them signing Jermon Bushrod as their new left tackle.