Ellerbe will not cost a lot, in the grand scheme of things, due to the devaluation of his position. We saw that last off-season and it is unlikely to change.
I would expect the team to work out an extension for Anquan Boldin. They will also keep Vontae Leach. These are guys that you can count on for more physically demanding opponents. They have added a sense of toughness to the offense.
The odd man out on offense will be Jacoby Jones. While he has not played as bad as I thought he would, I can see them trying to groom someone like Deonte Thompson for his role.
The one guy that is probably as good as gone is Paul Kruger.
The guy that I think is an unknown is Bryant McKinnie. It will be interesting to see how much he garners in Free Agency. If the team could bring him back for less than four million, while drafting their future LT, that would be the best case scenario. That way, they could keep the rest of the line where it needs to be.
Flacco knows that he has the leverage and if they win the SB and he wins the MVP or something - which is likely - then he'll have even more leverage.
The Ravens know that in order to remain competitive they need to get Flacco under a long term contract and structure it so that his cap number isn't killing them next year.
For instance, if he got a $30M signing bonus and a $1M base salary for 2013, his 2013 Cap number would be $7M. With that said, though, I wouldn't expect his signing bonus to be that much, because they usually structure their guaranteed money to include an option bonus (or two, if it's a 7-year deal). So, perhaps a $20M Signing bonus (with a $10M option bonus in 2014). That would reduce his 2013 Cap number (with a $1M base salary) to $5M.
OTOH, if they can't get it done........it's not going to be pretty.
Gotta hope Webb comes back close to form & Smith matures;after that, Corey may have to walk in favor of cheaper guys on rookie contracts (e.g.C. or O. Brown, A Jackson, etc.) What a luxury of DB depth we saw this year! A far cry from the Derrick Martin/Frank Walker days.
One side benefit of the AFC Champion & Super Bowl bound Baltimore Ravens recent and future high profile is that Oher's "Blindside rep." as an All-World LT has been exposed. Teams would be foolish to sign him as an LT, and I suspect few will try to outbid the Ravens for Oher @ RT. Next year, we're probably breaking in a new center and still trying to draft a long term LT. Let's keep as much continuity as we can on this OL.
While those guys were under the tag the Ravens' ability to operate was severely constrained. The same will be true if/when Flacco is tagged... the Ravens will be completely and totally locked out of free agency until after the tag is lifted, which may not happen until it's far too late to matter. That would mean not signing any of the UFAs that we're all coveting, including the Ravens' own guys.
If Flacco gets a long term deal, does the tag become viable for Kruger or Ellerbe? I'll confess to not knowing what their respective numbers, for their positions, woudl be.
Ellerbe isn't worth 8m for one year, period. The guy's play has been good this year, but I think it's a stretch to say he's over all the concerns he had from 2009-2011. Is he motivated now just because he wants a big contract? Will he revert to bad habits one he cashes his bonus check? Even more importantly, he has yet to prove he can stay healthy. He's never played even close to a 16 game season and he's been banged up for good portions of the 9-13 games a year he HAS played.
I'm not knocking the guy, again he's been probably our best and most consistent defender when on the field this year, but it is what it is. He also plays a devalued position that rarely sees big contracts. Even borderline-elite guys with good production like Curtis Lofton are only getting around 6m a year or so. David Hawthorne, who is a very comparable player to Ellerbe in terms of his career path and talent, got 5 years 19m from the Saints last season, and he had proven more at the time he signed that deal. I think that 5 year 19m deal is basically the ceiling for Ellerbe, so you certainly don't want to dump nearly half of that into a one year commitment.
Ellerbe wont be that expensive, MLB arent a premium position anymore. McClain had a good season last year and didnt cash in that much. Ravens will be fine cap wise, I expect Cary to be gone=CB's are in demand. Kruger stays IMO. Hope they bring back McKinnie-to me he is the most important. A few deals will be reworked to create room and a few players will be lost of course, especially with 11 draft picks.
$8M for a LB franchise tag? I wish it were so low...
Franchise tags on LBs this year is an estimated $9.45M. I seriously don't think the team will do that for Kruger. Slight chance for Ellerbe, very slight as that would be way overpaying him.
I don't understand why people are so concerned with trying to keep Kruger. It's nto gonna happen. He's as good as gone. Cary Williams is likewise in that same boat, but people have understood that for a while.
Similarly, I don't understand why EVERYONE is so convinced that Jacoby is gone. I think if we can get him to sign a 3 year extension or something similar that he can provide a good value for dollar going forward.
Whiel I'd hate to see Leach go, I can see the reasoning why he might be let loose.
McKinnie and Ellerbe should be attmepted to be retained, and neither should be terribly expensive.
Our RFA's should by and large be let to wal... Reed, Harewood, Dickson... none of these provide a good value for dollar and can easily be replaceed by late round picks, of which we have Many(maybe even too many).
I envision Jacoby being restructured and extended, Oher extended to lessen his cap number, same for Boldin and Ellerbe and Mckinnie re-signed. I could see David Reed and Harewood non tendered but brought back at a cheaper rate, but they also could be allowed to walk as well.