He is soon going to be 26, 27 next year. A pretty old talent.
Hamilton i guess this was it for him.. at least here.
This is the long term issue when you draft and develop so many players into stars.
Suggs is going nowhere anytime soon, cap be damned.
Suggs' game may provide him some longevity, because it's more predicated on sound technique and strength, rather than speed, even though Suggs is still very athletic for a player his size. He can just do too many things. He can 'successfully' drop into zones. He can 'successfully' jam WRs and TEs at the line of scrimmage. He can 'all hell' set the edge and he can still rush the passer.
I will say this though, if they are going to extend him, they had better keep a pass rusher opposite him. He won't see anymore Defensive MVP type seasons without a legitimate pass rusher opposite him, as he gets up there in age.
Secondly, even if all 5 players you mentioned were in fact cut, the true cap savings would be around $8.3m at most. You need to factor in that each player would be replaced by someone making at least $500k or so.
McClain is a no-brainer.
McKinnie is a bit tougher of a decision. Given his age and cap figure, he has to be one of the top candidates to be cut, but that is a risky position to leave unattended. I still think he's somewhat likely to be in his last year in Bmore.
Koch I'm on the fence about. He's got a $2.8 cap figure with $1.2 in dead money. So, on the surface, it saves the team $1.6m. However, when you consider what you have to pay the punter replacing him, the true savings is only $1.1m. I think the having dead money tied down for a K (as we did with Cundiff last year) or a P is a cap no-no personally. With Cundiff, we had no other choice. With Koch, it's a blurrier line. I think he might survive 2014, but in 2015, he has a very "cut friendly" contract with a $3.1 cap figure and only $600k in dead money.
Cutting Huff only saves $1.25. Given his experience and versatility, even as a backup, I still don't think that's enough of a cap savings to justify cutting him. Huff has been a mild disappointment so far, and if his lackluster play continues, he might get cut. Aside from continued poor play, I just don't see how you can cut a capable player who can play two separate valued positions just to save $1.25m on your cap. Again, if the Ravens were to cut Huff and replace him with a rookie, they'd really only be saving $750k.
Here is the solution to Suggs.
His cap # for 2014 is $12.4 ($4.6 dead money plus $7.8 base salary). Of the six big contracts on the books for the Ravens, Suggs is the easiest to work with because it a) is the only one that expires in 2014 and b) not surprisingly, it has the least amount of dead money attached to it.
So here's what you do..... Take $6m of Suggs' 2014 salary and convert it into a bonus. Spread it evenly over 2014, 2015, and 2016.
This makes lowers his cap figure for 2014 from $12.4 to $8.4m, while creating $2m of dead money for 2015 and 2016. You then offer a two-year contract extension, taking him up through age 34, for $12m. That's a very fair contract amount when you look what other similarly-aged pass rushers have been getting of late (Abraham, Freeney, J. Harrison).
You give him a $2m signing bonus for the extension, spread evenly between 2015 and 2016. You guarantee 2015, but not 2016.
So now his contract break down looks like this.
2014: $8.4m cap figure ($1.8 base salary, $6.6 in dead money)
2015: $8m cap figure ($5m base salary, $3m dead money- $1m from extension, $2m from restructure)
2016: $8m cap figure ($5m base salary, $3m dead money)
2) If Suggs were to hit the free agent market this upcoming season, then I think he'd probably get about $27 over 3 years, assuming he finishes out this season relatively healthy. That's his true market value. There is no way any team would give an extension for 2015/16 at a 2013 market value, unless the player is likely to ascend rapidly. So when you are determining his extension value, you typically use about 65-80% of present market value to determine future value. Otherwise, what's the upside for the club? It's the trade off that players make to get their money up front, particularly in a sport where injuries can change so much and contracts are non-guaranteed.
3) 2 years-$12m is probably a touch on the light side of what Suggs' value is, even when factoring in the prepay discount. However, the upside for Suggs is immense. His $ 8.4 salary for 2013 becomes guaranteed. If he doesn't take the extension, and gets cut, he's not going to see that type of first-year money anywhere else. Even better for Suggs is that he gets $6m of that $8.4 immediately. He also get's another $2m in signing bonus for his new contract. Lastly, if he gets $27 over 3 with any other team, it's likely going to be heavily front loaded, as to decrease the possibility that he ever sees year #2 and #3 of that contract. By guaranteeing his 2015 contract, the Ravens should be able to get a justifiable discount. Keep in mind, with most NFL contracts, the size of the contract is largely irrelevant. It's the guaranteed money that matters. What I just proposed would guarantee Suggs a minimum of $16.4m ($8.4 due him for 2014 + $2m signing bonus +$6m in 2015)
#4) Even though this is what I would do, I doubt the Ravens will do it. They will likely ask him to take a pay cut or trade him, just like they did with Boldin.
If he's unwilling to take a pay cut or a reasonable extension, cutting him certainly wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen, given the free cap space it creates. I think you look for a solution to keep him first, though, since he is one of the top two players on the roster (along with Yanda) IMO.
At this juncture in time, Suggs' contract isn't the most problematic one. It just happens to be the easiest to address because it's approaching it's final year and has a relatively small amount of dead money left. The contracts for Ngata, Webby, and Rice are probably a bit more burdensome, but we have no leverage to ask any of that trio for a contract adjustment. The fear of a release is usually a nice motivator towards getting a player to work with you, and there is no way we can release any of those 3 because the dead money is equal to, or in the case of Rice, greater than the cap figure.
Yanda is probably the most likely candidate for a restructure, even though his contract is probably the most forgiving of the six big contracts on the books. Marshal has proven willing to work with the Ravens with restructures at least once before. He will be 30 next year and is probably one of the least risky players on the roster from a performance standpoint, so if you are going to restructure a guy (a concept the Raven FO clearly dislikes), a player of Yanda's stature is probably a logical place to start.