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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Perry Hall, MD

    Lightbulb Why McGahee might still be a Raven...

    For most of last season, it was assumed that 2009 would be Willis McGahee’s last hoorah in Baltimore. Even with his newfound “team first” attitude, the Salary Cap implications for 2011 made it seem likely that the team would remove him from their books in 2010 in order to avoid any future Salary Cap implications (assuming the Cap returns).

    Since it is almost certain that the team would not be willing to pay his $6M base salary for 2011, the team would have to trade or release McGahee at that time, which would trigger adverse Salary Cap consequences. Assuming a return of the Salary Cap in 2011 with rules similar to those of past, the team would still have $6.25M in unaccounted for bonus prorations to deal with. They could deal with that in one of two ways – either (1) take it all in 2011 or (2) do a post-June 1 release and take $2.5M against the 2011 Cap and $3.75M in 2012. The assumption here is that they would do the later, which, while not great, is still not terribly onerous.

    Now, barring a decent trade offer, it appears the Ravens intend on keeping McGahee for 2010 and appear willing to accept those future Cap consequences.

    However, there is a technicality that the Ravens may be able to use to avoid those future Cap charges, assuming that the new CBA brings back the Salary Cap for 2011 and the new cap rules do not have some sort of retroactive application.

    The NFL’s league year is not based on the calendar year. It runs from the first Friday in March to the first Thursday the following year. Therefore, the 2010 league year runs from March 5, 2010 to March 3, 2011.

    You may recall that last month the Miami Dolphins tried to release LB Joey Porter, but had to rescind the move because they were still technically in the 2009 league year (which didn't end until 11:59:59 on Thursday, March 4th) and they didn't have enough 2009 cap space to take on the cap hit caused by Porter's release.

    So, the loophole that appears to exist is that the “league year” does not expire until after the season is over.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    From parts unknown

    Re: Why McGahee might still be a Raven...

    This article makes sense. I mean if it works financially, which this article shows that it does, having a pro bowl caliber back contributing behind Ray Rice is a luxury few teams have. I was very impressed last year by Willis' work ethic and attitude. He did a complete 180 from the year before.

    I for one welcome Willis back with open arms...

  3. #3

    Re: Why McGahee might still be a Raven...

    If we can get a 4th back we can trade him and won't have to worry about our special cap maneuvers. That ssaid, short of that, I'd rather keep him even if it meant risking the $6.25m spread around two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Middle River
    Blog Entries

    Re: Why McGahee might still be a Raven...

    I'd want to see better than a 4th.
    No problem in keeping him, my whole focus was current value and future cap implications.
    That said, I can still view him as a sweetener for draft day maneuvering.
    We are a little handicapped now, missing a 3, 4 and 7, and this is a deep draft. If we see someone falling, how can we make a move? We don't have a lot of options and adding a player is an extra one.

    With WR hole filled with Boldin and Donte, I'm more expecting us to try to trade our 1st to pick up an extra 2nd and 3rd.

    That said, we would still need a replacement back and I don't see any better than Willis, so I'm on the fence with either way, just painfully remembering Priest going and Jamal going down, so not averse to keeping him, especially if we can float that cap hit into 2010.
    What happens when Pinocchio says, “My nose will grow”?

  5. #5

    Re: Why McGahee might still be a Raven...

    I have been critical of Willis in the past, but he really turned himself around in terms of dedication this past season, and the results speak for themselves (10+ TDs as a back-up and far better overall effort most notably as a pass protector). I definitely have been impressed with his turn around - in life, as we all know, one of the hardest things to do is change. As a professional, Willis seems to have done that. That's really good for his future as a player in this league, which might have been short otherwise.

    That said, I think it's somewhat irresponsible to keep him on this team for much longer (meaning days or weeks, not seasons).

    That money is valuable to a team with holes in other places, and with a smaller arsenal of draft picks than originally thought, anything Willis might return would be valuable to this club.

    And if it's simply a matter of no trade interest (which I tend to doubt), I think the Ravens can simply cut him, and still quite easily make a lateral or better talent acquisition with a rookie or veteran free agent, at a substantial financial gain for the team. And that's not to mention the presence of Leron McClain, who's an under-rated runner in this league, and who received a significant tender as a result of his FB/HB versatility.

    Try to trade him to the NFC for the best offer you can get. If not, move on and give yourself the added financial flexibility you need to improve more pressing deficiencies on the defensive line and at receiver.

    The idea that we'd keep Willis, bloated salary for a back-up and all, and leave Jared Gaither exposed in the way we have is loaded with backwards, even outright flawed logic, IMO. The same can be said for keeping Willis at the potential expense of retaining Derrick Mason, a far more vital cog in our offensive wheel.

    Running backs are a dime-a-dozen in this league, and we've got a top-five back who is going to get the touches that status warrants over the next three-five years minimum. I don't think you can understate the benefits of immediate financial flexibility in today's NFL. Parting ways amicably with Willis offers you that.

    I won't be upset if they keep him, because Willis is a good player. I just don't think it's necessarily the most responsible move.


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