Low salary cap may benefit Baltimore Ravens ahead of Free Agency

The Baltimore Ravens have a slew of free agents this offseason and not much cap space to work with, but with it being low league-wide they may get lucky.

Somehow someway the Baltimore Ravens possess the tenth most cap space in the NFL despite some absolutely massive contracts. Per Over the Cap, Baltimore has just north of ~$20 million in cap space to finagle with this offseason. They’ll likely need every bit of it if they want to get better for 2021.

The Ravens have some high-profile free agents, too, including Pro Bowlers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue (the full list of the team’s free agents can be found here). Baltimore would love to bring back at least one of those guys with the franchise tag being an option. Depending on how Judon and Ngakoue are listed for their position, the tag would cost between ~$17.8 million (defensive end) and ~$15.7 million (linebacker), according to Over The Cap. Retaining one of them with the tag would take the Ravens down to ~$3-5 million.

From here, things will be interesting. With so many players slated to hit Free Agency, including five pass rushers, it would normally be very tough to bring back a good amount of its own pieces and then try to bring in outside pieces. This is not an ordinary year, however.

The league is slated to give each team around ~$175 million to spend this offseason, which is significantly lower than previous years likely due to COVID-19. This means the market value for some big-name players will likely come down due to teams having limited cap room to maneuver. As it stands, 12 teams are over the cap space limit right now and two additional teams have less than $10 million to spend. This is going to severely limit how much teams can spend this offseason on priority free agents.

This is where this all plays into the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. The team already possesses a loaded roster that is in contention for a Super Bowl run, it’s simply a matter of rounding out the roster and filling some of its holes. This can be solved in what looks to be a very deep Free Agency pool.

Baltimore primarily needs wide receivers and pass rushers this offseason, and the Free Agency class is chock full of them, including premier names in guys like Allen Robinson and Shaquil Barrett. There’s also a slew of bargain bin guys the Ravens can snag like Corey Davis and Carl Lawson. Knowing Baltimore, we should expect plenty of solid additions through Free Agency and then a good draft class, but in a year where cap space is limited, we may see the team bring in a big-name player for a relatively cheap deal.

I’m not saying that Robinson or Barrett is about to come to Baltimore, Maryland for less than $20 million, but I’m also not saying they’re going to break the bank, either. All I’m saying is this is going to be a weird offseason and we could see the Ravens benefit big time.

Free Agency will be more interesting than ever before with so many big names and such a low amount of cap space to work with for most teams. The Baltimore Ravens could very easily reap the benefits and become one of the biggest winners of Free Agency this offseason.