Art Jones is this year's version of Kruger and perhaps a little better. He's a good interior pass rusher, but not great as a run defdner. He's going to get a huge contract somewhere for a poor defensive team like the Redskins.
The good news is, we have guys like Canty on the roster next year who are only a few years older, and just as good, or perhaps better as an overall player (Canty is a better run defender). We also have plenty of younger talented players who can step up like Brandon Williams.
If recent history is anything to go by, Art Jones is as good as gone next year. It's not the Ravens way to overpay for homegrown talent that while turning out to be good players, never quite rose to the Suggs/Ngata levels.
Btw I think it's absolutely absurd to even suggest that Art Jones is even closing in on Ngata. Art Jones isn't even the starter in our nickel defense, Canty starts ahead of him.
Ngata isn't going to offer as much in the pass rushing department, because he is constantly doubled. It's the other defenders that get the benefit of one-on-one, thanks to Ngata.
If you double Ngata, at least you have a puncher's chance. Single up on him and you can just forget it.
Haloti Ngata: 2013 ($11.5 cap hit) 2014 ($16m. With $15m in dead money still)
Joe Flacco: 2013 ($6.8) 2014 ($14.8 cap hit)
Terrell Suggs: 2013 ($13.02) 2014 ($12.4 with $4.6 in dead money)
Marshall Yanda: 2013 (7.45) 2014 ($8.45 with $5.9 in dead)
Ray Rice: 2013 ($5.75) 2014 ($8.75 with over $14m in dead money)
Lardarius Webb: 2013 ($5.375) 2014 ($10.5 with $10 in dead money)
So let's estimate the 2014 cap at around $125m. The Ravens have $70.9m tied up in 6 players for next year. Only Suggs' contract is really cut-friendly, which is a decision I'm sure the Raven front office doesn't want to make given his incredible start to this season.
What is more concerning is that the raises in cap figures to these six players is $21m. The following players also have raises due:
Dumervil ($875k raise-still a great value with a cap figure of $3.375. Also, with $6m dead money)
Canty ($1.6m raise, assuming he is given his $500k march roster bonus. $1.33m in dead money if cut. His total cap figure is $3.1m, which is reasonable for a player of his ability, but it could go either way)
Koch ($300k. His cap figure of $2.8m has to be a big target, but he still does $1.2m in dead money. Punter is a hard position to justify this type of contract, but then you see how he played versus Cleveland and you definitely see his value. I think he is a great candidate for a restructure or contract reduction)
Leach ($860k raise. He might get cut again, as cutting him frees up $1.75 in base salary while costing $580 versus the cap. It's not clear cut.)
McKinnie ($1.5m raise. He only carries $1m in dead money with a $1m roster bonus, so who knows on this one)
Huff ($900k raise. This contract looked so dirt cheap that there was no way he wasn't going to see it through to the end of it. Now, I'm not positive on that. I do think Huff makes it into 2014 though, barring an awful finish to his season. The Ravens have to pay him $2.25 towards the cap to keep him in 2014 or pay $1m in dead money. Roughly half of the $1.25m they'd save by cutting him would be paid to his replacement, who likely won't be as experienced, as good, or as versatile, so I think he stays).
Right there is another $6.4m in raises, meaning the Ravens are committing $27.4m in raises to just the players on the roster who are no longer under their rookie contracts. Now, I'm sure the final number won't be that total, but it is a tough number to look at with any optimism. If you factor in the inherent raises due all of our players still under their rookie contracts, you are looking at roughly another $4m right there as well. So let's just use $31.5 in raises as a starting point.
What contracts are coming off the books?
Brandon Stokley ($920k)
Billy Bajema ($840k)
Dallas Clark ($940k)
Terrence Cody ($910k)
Ed Dickson ($1.3m)
Corey Graham ($2.65)
Jacoby Jones ($4.9m)
Art Jones ($2.0m)
Dennis Pitta ($2.0m)
Jameel McClain ($1.2 in savings. $2.4 cap figure for 2013. Under contract for $4.4 in 2014 with $1.2 in dead money. He's obviously not getting that amount and a cut is likely, which provides a $1.2 savings over 2013)
Michael Oher ($4.95m)
Darryl Smith ($1.125)
Right there is $24.15 in 2013 cap figures that are not on the books for 2014. So, at first sight, it doesn't look too too awful. We have $31.5 in raises and $24.4 coming off in contracts. However, you have to factor in a couple of things.
#1- this operates that every single player up for FA isn't brought back. For some (Dickson, Jameel, Clark, Cody, Bajema, Stokley) that's not a painful thought. The other seven on the list (Ighedibo, Graham, Oher, J. Jones, D. Smith, A. Jones, Pitta) are key players and you have to think, while losing 4-5 off the list would be expected, it would be painful to lose them all.
#2- Even if the 13 pending UFAs were all lost via free agency and were all replaced with rookies making the minimum, there's roughly another $6.5m that counts towards the cap. So the $24.15 in expiring contracts would really only save the team $17.65 when you count the players brought in to replace them.
#3- This is not even factoring in the rookie contract upgrades. If I'm estimating $500k for the 13 rookies/practice squadders replacing the 13 outgoing free agents, I also need to factor in that our 1st/2nd/3rd rounders will probably bring in more than $500k cap figures as rookie. For instance, Elam's cap figure this year is $1.2m and Arthur Brown's is $650k. It's a small adjustment because a few of the rookies are making $450k versus $500k. However, unless the Ravens are drafting in the last 4 spots of the first round (and let's hope they are), they likely going to see a rookie cap figure upgrade of around $1.25m.
So at the end of the day, the Ravens have about $31.5 in raises and, even if not a single free agent is retained or signed via free agency, about a $16.5 reduction saved by outgoing players. Most of you know I'm not a doom and gloom type guy (I sung Tandon Doss' praises even when his last supporter here had jumped ship), but this is a catastrophic position right now. The Ravens would have to trim $15m off of their meatiest contracts just to get back to the same position they are currently...all without bringing in any more veteran reinforcements. Clearly, they have a long time to find some solutions, but it's highly concerning at the present moment.
Even if Art Jones was willing to take a sizeable hometown discount, I have no clue where the money would come from, even if it was a severely frontloaded type cap allocation.
I don't care if we sign nobody, this team is loaded on the defensive side of the ball. All we need to do is load up on offensive play makers in the draft, and the team won't need anyone in FA. In terms of our own FAs I just want Daryl Smith and James Ihedigbo back really, as they seem to be high level players. Obviously Art Jones would be great to bring back, but that's not happening. If we cut McKinnie, you would have thought that you'd want Oher back. It's either going to be McKinnie cut or Oher left to test the market.
My hopes for next year:
Resign Ihedigbo and D Smith.
Draft an OT in a high round round to play RT in his rookie year, then eventually replace McKinnie.
Draft an explosive weapon in a high round (Whether that be a wide out or a TE it doesn't really matter these days.)
Contract extensions for Suggs, and Ngata, ensure that they retire as Ravens.
There's yet another year of play off contention. I really don't think this team NEEDS to sign any big names.
Nice LukeDaniel, thanks. I like Art but I'm sure he will be gone. Hopefully two Super Bowl rings and a good amount of sacks this year. Someone else will pay him quickly. I will enjoy him in purple while I can. Also, isn't players like Moore and Simon a backup plan next year for a player like Art?