The Ravens created some much needed financial flexibility by trading five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and by restructuring veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' four-year, $28.5 million contract.
The Ravens gained $8.5 million in salary cap space when they traded Ngata to the Detroit Lions late Tuesday afternoon after picking up $2.25 million by adjusting Suggs' deal.
But while the team is roughly $9.835 million under the NFL salary cap limit of $143.28 million, league sources indicated that a major spending spree isn't in the offing.
Despite having money available, the Ravens are expected to take a selective approach to their spending, part of which includes trying to hammer out a contract with veteran running back Justin Forsett. The Ravens began preliminary contract discussions with Forsett on Tuesday night after spending the day accounting for a tight salary-cap situation.
Forsett has reiterated several times that he wants to remain with the Ravens, a desire shared by the team. He's also drawn interest from the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts. The Ravens are Forsett's top choice, though. Forsett rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns last season as the replacement for Ray Rice.
The Ravens would also ideally like to add a veteran wide receiver to play opposite five-time Pro Bowl pass catcher Steve Smith. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Stevie Johnson are among the candidates, if they're released by their respective teams. Johnson is scheduled to make a $5.5 million base salary this year.
Michael Crabtree is also expected to leave the 49ers.
The Ravens are no longer in active talks about restructuring cornerback Lardarius Webb's contract, according to sources. Webb may wind up playing this season under an $8 million base salary and a $12 million salary-cap figure, one source predicted.
The Ravens were inching toward a contract extension for Webb at one point, but momentum stalled. At this point, the Ravens don't need to restructure Webb's contract to be in compliance with the salary cap or to have enough space for their rookie pool to sign draft picks.
This financial situation could always be revisited, but has gone quiet for now.
In other news, the Ravens didn't assign a restricted tender to safety Anthony Levine, but a source said the team is interested in bringing him back on a regular contract. Levine has drawn interest from a few other NFL teams.
The Ravens assigned a $510,000 exclusive-rights tender to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, according to a source