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Late For Work 6/19: 4 Ways Ravens Could Spend Extra Cap Cash

Posted Jun 19, 2013

Brigance reaction to radio hosts mocking ALS. Could Tyrod carry team? Flacco Ad #ItsGonnaBeEpic.

4 Ways Ravens Could Spend Extra Cap Cash

The Ravens gained a reported $3 million in salary cap space when they waived veteran fullback Vonta Leach last week, bringing their total of available money to a reported $6.049 million.

That’s a decent amount of money, especially in June. So what are their plans for it?

Nobody but General Manager Ozzie Newsome and his staff know for sure, but the team has yet to sign first-round pick Matt Elam, who still hasn’t hired an agent. Based on the NFL rookie contract slotting system, Elam will eat up $1.23 million of the remaining cap space.

That will leave about $4.8 million.

After that, the Ravens have some options that The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson outlines (and there could always be others).

  1. Baltimore could sign a veteran wide receiver. The team is apparently waiting on such a move because they want to give their current crop of young receivers a chance to step up. However, the money is there if the team opts to pursue a veteran in training camp.
  2. The organization could put its money toward an extension for a player entering the final year of his contract. Tight end Dennis Pitta is a popular speculative option to get an extension before the start of the season. Michael Oher, Corey Graham, Ed Dickson, Jacoby Jones, Arthur Jones and Terrence Cody are other Ravens who are scheduled to play out their current contracts this season.
  3. The team could opt to simply save its money for a rainy day and dip into when a player is hurt and goes on injured reserve.
  4. Knowing they have some hefty contracts to pay next season, the Ravens may want to carry over some unused cap space to 2014, per the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.  They did that last year.

The cap is expected to remain around $123 million next year, and the Ravens already have 53 players under contract for $120.788 million, per Wilson.

The Sun reporter highlighted some of the highest salary cap figures scheduled for next season: Haloti Ngata ($16 million), Terrell Suggs ($12.4 million), Joe Flacco ($14.8 million), Lardarius Webb ($10.5 million), Ray Rice ($8.75 million) and Marshal Yanda ($8.45 million). 

Brigance Reaction To Radio Hosts Mocking ALS

Three Atlanta radio hosts were fired for mocking Steve Gleason, a former NFL player who is battling ALS like the Ravens’ O.J. Brigance.

Gleason was the guest writer for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback this week, writing more than 4,500 words with his eyes since he no longer has use of his hands, which is where the segment on the radio show began. The hosts have apologized for their remarks and Gleason has graciously accepted.

Both Gleason and Brigance have foundations that raise awareness and money to help improve the quality of life for those with ALS and their families with needed equipment, support and research initiatives.

Brigance met with the executive director of the Brigance Brigade Foundation, Steve Peregoy, a few hours after the radio hosts were fired, according to CSNBaltimore.com’s Clifton Brown. Brigance reacted to the situation with “typical class and focus” and hoped the controversy would ultimately inspire people to support ALS research and assist sufferers.

"O. J. is such an inspiration, and such a spiritual individual, who feels that all things work together for a purpose,” Peregoy told Brown.   "He wants people to recognize that in the face of this controversy, there will be more awareness. Maybe this will set the table for assisting the efforts to find a cure. O. J. and his wife, Chanda, always very much take the high road. Bad publicity is still publicity. As negative as it is, maybe 100,000 people or so today have a better understanding of ALS and are more aware of it, and will join in the fight. This disease takes such a physical, emotional, and financial burden on its sufferers.’’

Could Tyrod Carry Team If Needed?

With rumors buzzing of JaMarcus Russell potentially working out for the Ravens, which hasn’t come to fruition, fans are curious about how backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor has looked in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp practices.

Could Taylor carry the Ravens if Flacco were to suffer injury and miss an extended period of the season?

“I'm going to reserve full judgment on Tyrod until training camp, when he gets more reps in team drills, but I can't say I saw much progress from him this spring when we were allowed to watch practice,” The Baltimore Sun’s Matt Vensel said in an online fan chat.

Taylor is known for his legs and ability to escape pressure, but Vensel noted that he tucks the ball and runs too quickly if his first reads are taken away.

“The reality is that if you lose your starting quarterback for half the season or more, you're probably screwed no matter who your backup is,” Vensel added. “But in the Ravens’ case, could they survive a four-game stretch with Tyrod under center? I don't think so.”

Will Pitta Bet On Himself Like Flacco?

As I mentioned, Pitta could be in line for a contract extension prior to the start of the season, but if the fourth-year tight end doesn’t like what’s being offered, he could take a page out of the ole’ Joe Flacco book.

As Flacco’s closest friend on the team, Pitta got a front row seat to the negotiation process between the franchise quarterback and team. So Pitta knows as well as anyone the potential risks and rewards of playing out the final year of his contract.

“Pitta saw his star shine brighter catching passes from Joe Flacco and might choose to take some career advice from his quarterback,” wrote CBSSports.com’s Dave Richard. “Last year, Flacco didn't sweat playing out a contract year, he just did his thing and wound up as the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens rewarded Flacco handsomely for what he's done for them and Pitta should expect the Ravens to do the same for him after this season.

“At the very least he'll get franchised.”

Flacco Shooting Ad #ItsGonnaBeEPIC

There have been lots of tweets over the last couple days trying to build up anticipation for a FoxSports1 ad that appears to have the two Super Bowl XLVII teams battling it out.  

Below is a sample of two tweets. Let’s hope the spot is as good as the buildup.

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