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Ravens will look into building roster without lowering Joe Flacco's salary cap figure

Ravens general manager-executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said the organization will discuss the ballooning salary cap figure in quarterback Joe Flacco¿s contract next weekend when the team¿s highest-ranking officials meet in Florida to discuss the upcoming offseason.

Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said Thursday that the organization will discuss the ballooning salary cap figure in quarterback Joe Flacco's contract next weekend when the team's highest-ranking officials meet in Florida to discuss the upcoming offseason.

Newsome made it clear at the "State of the Ravens" address that the he, owner Steve Bisciotti, president Dick Cass, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, senior vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty and coach John Harbaugh will consider more scenarios than simply restructuring Flacco's deal to lower his cap figure.

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"We'll talk about Joe and the contract, then we will put together a plan," Newsome said.

"But hopefully, that if we are strategic enough, we can possibly put together a football team and not necessarily have to redo Joe's contract. That has to be an option that we have to look at, but we will sit down and talk about it, and then at that point, it could be some conversations between [Flacco's agent] Joe Linta and Pat."

When Flacco signed his then-record six-year, $120.6 million contract in 2013 after leading the Ravens to glory in Super Bowl XLVII, his salary cap figures were low. But this year, that number balloons to $28.55 million, the second-highest cap hit among quarterbacks, behind New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Other top quarterbacks' figures are around the low- to mid-$20 million range.

The NFL's salary cap is estimated to be between $147 and $154 million next year, meaning Flacco's cap number would account for nearly 20 percent of it.

Flacco said Monday that the salary cap number is "obviously out there, and it's probably going to be somewhat of an issue."

"You know this day is going to come," Flacco said. "No matter what you do, there's no way of getting around having a big cap number at some point, or a consistently big cap number."

At that point, however, Flacco said he hadn't thought about how it would play out.

Newsome also spoke of the team's general salary cap situation, and said the dead money from former running back Ray Rice's contract affected this year's cap. He said 2016 could present the same situation for tight end Dennis Pitta, who has a $7.2 million cap hit but hasn't played since September 2014 because of his hip injuries.

Newsome said the contract extensions that cornerback Jimmy Smith, guard Marshal Yanda and punter Sam Koch have signed also affect their cap situation.

"When you sign players like that, that affects your cap going forward," he said. "But I don't think that we'll be as busy as some teams are in March. We never have. But I think when there's a player that we think can come in and improve our football team and help us, then we will have the cap room capable of being able to get that player signed."

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