After the 2008 season ends, the following players will run out of thier contracts with the Ravens. It is a large, heavy hitter list of players that will decide the future of this organization and the next five season realistic expectations.
These are the lists of players that are on the current roster of 2007 team whose contracts run out.
Offensive side of the Ball:
Defensive side of the Ball:
Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Kelly Gregg, Terrell Suggs, Dwan Edwards, Dan Cody (most likely will get cut this off-season when he clears his medical exempt), Corey Ivy, David Pittman (RFA), Dwan Landry (RFA), Derrick Martin (RFA)
This does not take into account the cap hits that most likely will happen when Jonathan Ogden retires. People continue to think that when he goes, we will knock 10 million off the books. It is not true. He re-structed his deal to go into base pay and it is not that high. The minimum cap hit by the pro-rated bonus means the Ravens will still save, but more like 4-5 million off the books. Not alot in the grand scheme of things when the Ravens were only projected to have 5 million under the cap to begin with this season.
Suggs will eat up a nice chunk of that money if he re-signs, say the cap charge would be 30/40 % of that money. It leaves the team 6 million to sign draft picks, Jason Brown (who is a RFA). It could be completely done without cutting anyone signifcant. It might mean that you can see the Ravens giving one of the 2008 free agents an extension to lessen the cap figures. Signing Scott long term would cut his current number of almost 5 million down some, say 3.5 million for the first year. Cut Mike Flynn could save the team 1.4 million in cap charge. if they were to extend Ray Lewis to a modest contract say 3 years 20 million range with 10 million up front. They could shuffle his base pay and produce a cap charge at my guess 6.3 million. This would be a savings of almost 4 million dollars towards the cap. My only problem is that Lewis might want to have more dollars thrown at him. You could back load the money into a 5 year deal, where he reduces his cap charges more, but the short contract marks the high extent. If he goes for the bank, the Ravens are not going to keep him.
Players that place the Ravens in cap constraints.
These are players that values do not add up to the cap numbers.
1. Steve McNair - He is not going anywhere until at least the end of 2008. Too much cap hit at this point to cut him, even after June first. He is signed through 2010 and you could not cut him at least until June 1 2008 and spread the hit over two season. It would mean a "dead money" cap hit in 2009 for like 2 million or so....
2. Mike Flynn - needs to re-structure to vet minimum to have a shot to stick around. Not even worth the 2.5 million cap hit he has now.
3. Todd Heap - Man is making alot of money to sit on the sidelines from time to time. He was on a two year run of seeing all games, but this season went back to the nagging injury bug again. He will not be cut because he is a fan favorite and still brings alot to the table for the position. He does however cost the Ravens over 5 million in cap space and it only gets worse in 2008, 2009 seasons as the base pay jumps up to over into the 3-4 million range.
Basically, there are alot of choices to make with this bunch and it could signal a new age in Ravens history. They could be sentimental and ride the past glories into the sunset or go the Steelers route and let them walk to greener pastures. I tend to want to continue winning and building back up to the Superbowl Team. Sign vets on the cheap to be apart of a winning club. Alot of things can happen over these next two years that show the future path of Ravens football for the next decade.