Baltimore Ravens 2018: A look at the dead money

jschiller
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Six notable former Baltimore Ravens are still being paid without having to play a down in the Charm City.

The Baltimore Ravens have been regularly pressed against the NFL’s salary cap. While Ozzie Newsome and the front office have maneuvered their way to still be competitive in free agency, there’s no doubt the team has been held back because of funds. Part of the problem revolves around Joe Flacco‘s ginormous contract but dead money also plays a role.

Dead money is referred to money that’s still being paid to players no longer on the roster. Whether that be by way of release, injury, etc. When a player is no longer on a team but is still owed money on their contract, that’s classified as dead money.

For reference, this isn’t something exclusive to the Ravens. Every team owes dead money in some shape or form. The Buffalo Bills rank the highest this year with a whopping total of $36.3 million owed and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank the lowest with just $815, 506, per OverTheCap.

The Ravens rank just about in the middle, owing $9.1 million in dead money with six notable players still earning a paycheck and not even taking the field in Baltimore this season:

Jeremy Maclin: $2.5 million

Dennis Pitta: $2.2 million 

Austin Howard: $2 million

Danny Woodhead: $1.5 million

Lardarius Webb: $800,000

Jeremy Zuttah: $100,000

It’s significantly less than the $23.5 million from the 2017 season. Certainly, a step in the right direction but four of the six players (Maclin, Howard, Woodhead, and Webb) were released this offseason. Three of those four players released were free agent signings just one year ago.

The Ravens re-signed Dennis Pitta to a $32 million extension in 2014 after he missed 12 games the previous season with a fractured and dislocated hip. Unfortunately, that problem arose again, abruptly ending his career.

These are the risks front offices take and when they don’t pan out, it costs them, literally.

Newsome and co. signed a slew of free agents yet again this offseason to give Joe Flacco arguably the most help he’s had in his career. These moves could and are expected pay dividends for the offense but on the flip side, they also provide the possibility of a heaping pile of dead money.

Next: Baltimore Ravens All-Time 53 man roster

With a postseason-or-bust mentality for the Ravens entering the 2018 season, it’s a risk the front office is clearly willing to take.

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