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Late For Work 6/4: Comparing Ravens' Spending On Receivers vs. NFL


Comparing Ravens' Spending On WRs vs. NFL

Is Baltimore "cheap" when it comes to spending money on its 2014 receiving corps?'s Will Brinson came to the conclusion that the Ravens aren't just frugal when spending at the position, but indeed cheap, after examining all 32 teams' spending at the position. And that's not just because Baltimore is one of the lowest spenders, it's because it spends little, and is projected to get little production from the group.

If Brinson's projections are wrong, however, the title of "cheapest" team could change to the most "efficient" that got the biggest bang for its buck.

Let's break this down.

If you were to make a list of the top NFL money spenders at the wideout position, you'd have to scroll a looooong way down to find the Ravens.

Of 32 NFL teams, the Ravens are ranked No. 30 in cash given to wide receivers, only ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. According to, the Ravens have $5.69 million allocated to receivers for the upcoming season, which is a whopping $7 million less than the NFL average.

When looking at salary cap percentage, receivers typically eat up a huge chunk of NFL teams' cap space.

Not the Ravens though.

The Ravens will only spend 4.4 percent of their salary cap on receivers this season, which is the fourth least in the NFL behind the Green Bay Packers, Cowboys and Panthers, per CBS Sports. The average NFL team uses nearly 10 percent of its cap space on wideouts.

It obviously doesn't hurt that two of the Ravens' top receivers are still on their rookie contracts in Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown. Plus, Brown was an undrafted rookie, so he doesn't even hit the $1 million mark in salary. Heck, he doesn't even hit the half-million mark.

Below are two diagrams, illustrating all 32 teams' raw number of cash spent at the position and how it eats into cap space, respectively. (Mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page see the diagrams.)


Of course, how much you spend at a position doesn't necessarily equate to success.

So* *Brinson examined how much teams will pay a wideout per yard (projected) to get a better feel for if they are spending money wisely. Thus, you will see that even though the Miami Dolphins spend the most on receivers (nearly $30 million and nearly 20 percent of their cap), they are also spending the most per yard: $9,162 per yard.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are projected to spend just $2,354 per yard, which is the fifth-least, as can be seen in the chart below. The average cost per wide receiver receiving yard per team in the NFL is projected to be $4,410 (indicated by the red line).


"Two projected 'cheap' teams are the Ravens and Panthers," wrote Brinson. "They don't spend much on wideouts and they don't have much production at wideout.

"But they pay more per yard than Green Bay, [who] is projected by far to be the most efficient team. Our projections put them top five in total receiving yards while it's paying less than anyone else in the NFL per yard." 

The 2014 season still isn't written, however, so the projected yards could be wildly wrong.

If quarterback Joe Flacco has a bounce-back year, or if Steve Smith, Sr. serves "humble pie" to the media with a big season, or if Jacoby Jones stays healthy for all 16 games, or if Brown takes another step, or if Torrey Smith continues his upward trend, then Baltimore could become the Green Bay of 2014.

Only time will tell.

Below are the top four Ravens receivers' projected 2014 yard totals, per, and their reported cap figure, per

   Receiver Projected Receiving Yards Cap Figure
Torrey Smith 1,059 $1.08 M
Steve Smith 691 $2.17 M
Jacoby Jones 408 $1.88 M
Marlon Brown 438 $496,666

Four Vets On Roster Bubble

The Ravens have a 90-man roster in May, but will need to get down to 53 by the end of August.

Some players are locks, and some are expected to be cut, but who is on that roster bubble?'s Bo Smolka names four veterans who will need a big offseason to keep their spot on the team.

DL Terrence CodySmolka: "[F]or the second straight year, he's recovering from offseason hip surgery. … It's unclear how [Timmy] Jernigan or second-year lineman Brandon Williams will line up, but they and Haloti Ngata all bring run-stuffing potential that is Cody's calling card."

OL Jah ReidSmolka: "Reid missed the OTA workouts last week with a calf strain, and the Ravens opting to move Ryan Jensen to tackle doesn't bode well for Reid, either. If he proves capable at tackle, Jensen is more valuable than Reid based on Jensen's ability to play guard and center as well."

QB Tyrod TaylorSmolka: "Will the Ravens keep three quarterbacks this year? They have not done that in several years. And if not, Taylor is the odd man out if they decide to keep rookie Keith Wenning, whom the Ravens invested a sixth-round draft pick in."

WR Deonte ThompsonSmolka: "Privately, some in the Ravens organization have expressed disappointment that Thompson didn't show more progress last season. He'll need a strong training camp to make the team. Like Reid, an offseason arrest did not help his case."

Chykie Confident In Winning Nickel Back Job

After losing No. 3 corner Corey Graham to free agency, the Ravens opted not to draft a cornerback or add one via free agency.

That's a huge opportunity for youngsters Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson to win the nickel back role, and Brown is confident in his chances.

"Asa's my man, but business is business," Brown told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "I'm going for that third spot, and I pray I have a good season and I stay healthy. I feel confident. I feel good about how everything is going."

Quick Hits

  • While examining every NFL team's glaring positional weakness, Pete Prisco identified right tackle as the Ravens' weakest spot. "With Michael Oher and his inconsistency moving on, Ricky Wagner will get the first shot here. He played some as a rookie last season and struggled with speed off the edge. But maybe a year in the system and adjustments to the speed will help. It's not like Oher dominated. Ryan Jensen, a second-year player who is coming off a broken foot, will challenge Wagner." []
  • Doug Farrar gave the Ravens a D for an offseason report card grade. []
  • The Ravens removed undrafted rookie outside linebacker Ryan Jones from injured reserve with an injury settlement. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • @LWebb21: Great day on the job! #RavenNation [Twitter]
  • @TorreySmithWR: More motivated now than I've ever been [Twitter]
  • @gdowning14: John Harbaugh, Matt Elam, Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele and Jimmy Smith will all address the media [today]. [Twitter]
  • @gdowning14: I love hearing Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" blaring from the practice fields. [Twitter]
  • @HarrySwayne director of player development]: @Ravens rookies getting practice at the [consequences of too many choices that make for tough & costly decisions. [Twitter]
  • @NFLonCBS: Torrey Smith gets his turn at @Ravens Thursday Night Football shoot. Watch Ravens vs Steelers CBS/NFL Network Sept 11 [Twitter]
  • @gdowning14: Steve Smith looks right at home in that #Ravens jersey. [Twitter]
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