OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens and the rest of the NFL will face some challenges with the 2021 salary-cap because of the challenges created by COVID-19 over the past year.
The overall cap could decrease from $198,2 million in 2020 to $175 million to $185 million this year, according to some estimates.
Despite the lower number, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is confident the team will be in better shape than several competitors.
“As far as the salary cap goes, I think it’s such a strange phenomenon, because we are actually probably 11th or 12th best in the league in terms of salary cap room, and we anticipate that number being somewhere between $15-20 million," DeCosta said. "However, that’s not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, and that’s based on a projection of between $175 million and $180 million dollars of salary cap room. So, we like the positioning we are in. I think there are about 14 or 15 teams this year who are actually over the salary cap.
"We see that as an opportunity for the club to really improve. But it’s an unusual dynamic and there are going to be, I think, some challenges for teams to get under the cap. We’d like to have more room than we have; $15-20 million dollars is not a lot of money. But when we judge ourselves against our competitors, we feel like we have an opportunity to use that to our advantage.”
The Ravens will look to add a wide receiver and depth on the offensive line via free agency if the numbers work.
Baltimore is also looking to finalize a contract extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson, who could be looking for a deal worth about $42 million per season.
"As far as that goes with the salary cap, there are some unique challenges this year with not even knowing what the cap is going to be," DeCosta said. "The cap could be $175 [million] [or] $185 [million] – we don’t really know yet. That’s going to pose some problems."