Franchise Tag amounts are based on the prior year’s highest Salary Cap numbers by position. Therefore the Skins maneuver to accelerate $21M of Haynesworth’s deal into 2010 caused the Franchise Tag for Haloti Ngata to increase by a whopping $5.5M over what it would otherwise have been. So, instead of having to carry Ngata at a Franchise Tag number of roughly $7M, the Ravens were, instead, charged $12.5M against the Salary Cap for Ngata.

While the Ravens did eventually re-sign Ngata to a long-term deal, they were essentially hamstrung from late July to September, during which that extra $5.5M could really have come in handy and allowed them to sign an additional free agent or two. Or, very possibly, could have allowed them to retain a player like Todd Heap, Derrick Mason or Kelly Gregg (although, it could be argued that this was a positive unintended consequence).