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NFL Delivers Ravens Good Salary Cap News

GM Eric DeCosta
GM Eric DeCosta

The Ravens got an influx of spending power Friday afternoon with the NFL's announcement of the 2024 salary cap.

The NFL has set the salary cap at $255.4 million, which is significantly higher than estimates. It's an unprecedented $30.6 million increase from last year's cap.

The league said it's the "result of the full repayment of all amounts advanced by the clubs and deferred by the players during the Covid pandemic as well as an extraordinary increase in media revenue for the 2024 season."

Regardless of how it came about, it's good news for the Ravens considering how tight they are against the salary cap with numerous (and potentially expensive) tough decisions to make.

Russell Street Report's Brian McFarland now projects that the Ravens currently stand to open free agency with about $12 million.

That is sure to change as the Ravens make more additions, subtractions, and contract adjustments before free agency opens. The biggest of which is whether they place the franchise tag on defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, which would now officially be $22.1 million. It would cost $24 million to but used on linebacker Patrick Queen. The higher cap makes it easier for the Ravens to swallow using the franchise tag and have to cut or restructure fewer players.

The higher salary cap could also lead to Baltimore having more flexibility to bring in outside free-agent help, even if a long-term deal isn't reached with Madubuike or Queen before free agency opens on March 13.

But just as it could mean the Ravens have to cut fewer players to get under the salary cap, it could mean the same for other teams. That could mean fewer post-cut free agents for Baltimore to scoop up, which the Ravens have pounced on in previous years.

The league also announced what it would cost to put fifth-year tenders on first-round picks from the 2021 draft class. Wide receiver Rashod Bateman would cost $14.4 million and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh would cost $13.25 million in 2025, per Spotrac.

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