Another Look at the Ravens' Salary Cap
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Once the disappointment dissipates from the Ravens' playoff loss to the Titans, there should be some emerging optimism moving forward.
Baltimore has a core nucleus of young players still performing under their rookie contracts.
The Ravens will have about $34 million in room under the salary cap when the 2020 league year opens in March — a significant improvement from previous years. The Ravens were able to free up more than $20 million in cap space for each of the next two years by trading quarterback Joe Flacco and his hefty contract to the Denver Broncos.
Meanwhile, the Ravens can create more financial flexibility by releasing several veterans, including safety Tony Jefferson ($7 million in savings), offensive lineman James Hurst ($2.75 million) and cornerback Brandon Carr ($7 million).
Eric DeCosta is beginning his second year as the Ravens full-time general manager. He spent more than a decade mentoring under Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Newsome.
DeCosta has already made some shrewd moves, such as acquiring and then extending the contract of Pro-Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters. The Ravens managed to win the AFC North and clinch the top seed in the playoffs depsite losing several key veterans from last season, such as Za'Darius Smith, C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs. There has been tale that DeCosta is a favorite fo NFL Executive of the Year.
DeCosta said during last offseason the goal was to create a team that is built for long-term success. The pieces are in place to meet that goal, especially with quarterback Lamar Jackson, an MVP candidate, tight end Mark Andrews, right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and a pair of young receivers in Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin.
“We’re just an extremely young group, and we’re only going to get better,” Boykin said. “You’re talking to 22-, 23-year-olds playing against veterans every day. So, we’re definitely going to get better. We’re excited for it. I don’t know what our ceiling really is, just because of the type of talent that we have in this organization.”
Third-year fullback Patrick Ricard agreed and said the Ravens' best football is still ahead.
“That’s the thing that’s encouraging. I think we have a lot of guys coming back, especially to the offense," Ricard said. "We’ll see with some other guys in free agency, but I think the future is bright here, especially with Lamar [Jackson] as our quarterback. I’m excited for it. I can’t wait to get to work and come in for OTAs and just keep getting better.”