When veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb recently restructured his contract, he did so with the intention of finishing his career with the Ravens.
Webb lowered his salary cap figure from $12 million for this year to $9.25 million, creating a net savings of $2.75 million.
"My goal is to retire a Raven, and while it wasn't an easy decision, I wanted to put the team first," Webb told The Baltimore Sun. "I wanted to prove myself this year that the Ravens sticking with me was the right decision. The Ravens reached out to my agent, Marc Lillibridge, a few weeks before the scouting combine and they were talking and working hard together to get something done. I'm glad it's done."
Webb, 29, has a fully guaranteed $2.25 million base salary for 2015 and a $3 million roster bonus due in early April along with $750,000 in playtime incentives and team qualifiers. Webb previously was scheduled to make an $8 million base salary for 2015. He can now make $6 million this year.
Webb also wanted the team to have more financial flexibility to bolster its roster. This offseason, the Ravens have traded five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions and lost wide receiver Torrey Smith, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, tight end Owen Daniels, safety Darian Stewart and quarterback Tyrod Taylor in free agency.
The Ravens have signed former Houston Texans free safety Kendrick Lewis and brought back defensive linemen Chris Canty, Lawrence Guy and Christo Bilukidi, defensive back Anthony Levine and long snapper Morgan Cox. The Ravens are currently $8.385 million under the NFL salary cap limit of $143.28 million.
"Doing the restructure, I'm glad it helps the team financially to make more moves to make the team better," Webb said. "It's not easy losing great players like Torrey Smith, Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee, but this happens every year. I trust Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the organziation to do their jobs and put the pieces in place to make us a better team."
Webb dealt with a painful back injury for the majority of last season but regained some of his old form by the end of last year. He suffered a hematoma during the second day of training camp that pressed on a nerve and eventually caused his leg muscle to atrophy and prevented him from running full speed.
"As far as the restructure, my goal is to prove my worth this year," said Webb, who originally signed a five-year, $50 million contract in 2012 that included $15 million guaranteed. "I want to show I can be healthy and help the team get to the next level."
Webb finished last season with 46 tackles and one interception in 13 games with 11 starts. For his career, Webb has 301 tackles and 11 interceptions. Webb has previously overcome tearing anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees during his six NFL seasons.
"I'm working hard this offseason to be healthy," said Webb, who has been training at the Under Armour training facility in Baltimore as well as in Frederick this offseason. "This is the first offseason I'm going into where I'm not coming off a major injury. I finished the season healthy.
"I'm excited to be healthy going into the offseason. Hopefully, that will carry into the season. There's nothing lingering with the back. I'm actually feeling pretty good."
Meanwhile, Webb is holding his annual charity softball game May 8 at 7 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium.
Webb is expecting former Ravens safety Ed Reed and coach John Harbaugh to attend again this year as well as several current Ravens players. Last year, the event drew about 15,000 to M&T Bank Stadium. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or through www.lardariuswebb21.com.
"I'm excited to have the game again at M&T Bank Stadium," Webb said. "I'm hoping the defense can beat the offense after getting whipped last year. It means a lot to me to be able to host such an event and have an impact on the Boys & Girls Club and the rest of the kids in the community. It's exciting that my teammates are going to show up like they did last year, and we're hoping to have an even bigger turnout."