Quote Originally Posted by bmorecareful View Post
The whole point is that the Ravens could EASILY go into 2013 without signing a single free agent. They just don't have the cap space. Kruger, Ellerbe, Cary, McKinnie... all gone. QUOTE]

The only way we would be close to having this happen would be if we had to franchise Flacco and kept Leach/Boldin/Jones at their current cap #s.

I don't have my cap spreadsheet here at work, but even if we had to give Joe a $16 million fanchise tag and opted to keep Jacoby/Quan/Vonta (assuming cut/retire to Birk and cutting Bobby Williams) that would put us around $122-$123 based on my memory of what it looks like. I believe, with our carryover from 2012, our salary cap ceiling is $122.

So imagine if we get Flacco signed longterm ($6 million+ in savings) and part ways with Jones and Leach ($7 million savings). That would give us $12 million or so in cap money to spend without even having to touch Boldin's contract. We can keep Kruger and Ellerbe for that amount and possibly even bring in one more FA. Or, if 99 and 59 get too expensive, we can get four decent mid-level free agents for that amount too.

If we want to keep either Jones or Leach, then we could probably do so as well and still be somewhat active in resigning Kruger/Ellerbe or getting 2-3 free agents.

Getting Flacco signed long-term is the pivotal event of this offseason. Without it, we are basically treading water with our current guys. With it, we are actually not in a bad spot in the least.
Quote Originally Posted by LukeDaniel View Post

This is around what I've worked out too, I don't understand where the whole "no cap at all" thing is coming from. Sure, its not perfect, but its not the Pittsburgh Steelers. I worked out (despite the minor mistake of working out 17 mill instead of 16.5) we will be able to afford two solid FA's and will be able to re-sign Kruger and Ellerbe, unless they get crazy with their demands (isn't really out of the questions tbh). Even though I love the likes of Leach, the upside of cutting him to keep guys like Kruger and Ellerbe is higher than keeping a 32 year old FB.
I get all that, but refer to my original posts on this topic... if Flacco is franchised, that would put us over the cap of $120m RIGHT THERE... without signing a single free agent! In other words, you're talking about cutting guys just to make weight. Dumping Jacoby and Vonta and freeing up their 7m is a good move, but that gets you down to a payroll of about $115m, all else equal. That's projected to be $5m under the cap. They could PROBABLY get one of Kruger and Ellerbe under that, but both would be a big stretch... do they really want to be right at the cap again with back-loaded contracts dragging down the future?

I agree that Flacco's long-term contract is the pivotal issue, but the real question is not IF it happens but WHEN it happens. If the Ravens have to franchise Flacco they're out of free agency, period, until the tag is lifted via long-term deal. The worst case scenario here is that Flacco remains on the franchise tag through the entire offseason. By opening day guys like Ellerbe, Kruger, Knighton, Kenny Phillips, etc. will have all likely signed elsewhere--they're not going to wait for the Ravens on a handshake deal in all likelihood.

That's why I called it the worst case scenario--and, unfortunately, I think it has a strong possibility of playing out. The Ravens want to get a deal done quickly but they had the entire season to do that and the FO had more leverage months ago. Now Flacco has a lot of leverage, and that could complicate the process. I think it gets done but I don't know if the odds are good that it happens before late summer.