The Baltimore Ravens are currently projected to have roughly $9 million in available cap for 2022, but they can generate more space with these cost-cutting moves.
Compared to other NFL teams, the Ravens are in a good place financials-wise heading into the 2022 season. Some players, like Bradley Bozeman and Anthony Averett, have uncertain futures on the team, and much of Baltimore’s offseason will involve making tough roster decisions.
But as the chart below shows, the Ravens salary cap may be more flexible than you think and there are a handful of ways the team can potentially free up cap space this season.
From now until the start of the 2022 season, Baltimore’s “effective” cap space will be contingent on releasing players, restructuring and extending contracts, and a few other moving pieces.
Without going into too much detail about effective cap space (Russell Street Report’s Brian McFarland explains that in this article), the Ravens have a very workable salary cap for 2022.
Currently, the team has roughly $9 million in cap space, but Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFAs) and Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) will cost the team around $2 million to tender.
The Ravens have plenty of options to create cap space for 2022
To create more space, Baltimore can start by releasing offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, by far the team’s easiest cut this offseason. After a disappointing 2021 campaign, Villanueva almost certainly won’t be back, and releasing him would save the team $6 million.
The Ravens can also choose to release Miles Boykin and Tavon Young, who combined would save the team roughly $8 million in cap space. Boykin could be considered one of the more expendable players in the Ravens’ receiver room since Baltimore already has developmental talents in James Proche and Devin Duvernay.
Young, though, proved his value late in the 2021 season when the Ravens’ secondary was crippled by injuries, and the fourth-year corner may yet deserve a spot in the roster next season. The team may additionally release Ben Powers and Sam Koch to save around $5 million.
Other than those player releases, the Ravens can restructure the contracts of Marlon Humphrey, Ronnie Stanley, and Kevin Zeitler to save $15 million, and the team can extend the likes of Lamar Jackson and Marcus Peters, which would free up as much as $19 million in available cap.
The chart includes an option to release Ja’Wuan James, too, but given that the Ravens signed him a month after he tore his Achilles and have been patiently following the offensive tackle’s recovery, that seems less likely to happen.
These moves won’t allow Baltimore to bring on any expensive free agent, but they do provide more breathing room and leave the window open for an emergency pre-season signing.
No need to worry that much about cap space this year, Ravens fans. The front office has hopefully got it covered.