Ravens ranked top-10 in projected salary cap health for next three years
The Baltimore Ravens have long been considered one of the best-run franchises in football, and recent salary cap analyses only further prove that fact.
Baltimore’s team philosophy of drafting and developing players continues to pay off as the Ravens have developed a sustainable model of success keeping the team afloat for the last few decades.
Whereas other franchises, like the Los Angeles Rams, might opt to go down a “screw them picks” path, the Ravens understand the importance of drafting well — not only does it foster a better team culture, but it also ensures that the team is financially stable for the foreseeable future.
Most NFL pundits saw Baltimore’s 2022 draft haul as a huge success with the Ravens acquiring talented players like Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum and choosing not to make any blockbuster trades despite ongoing rumors connecting the team to Deebo Samuel or Terry McLaurin.
The biggest signing the Ravens made this offseason was arguably Marcus Williams, and even then, the team managed to sign him to a very reasonable contract.
What does all of this mean for the Ravens’ future cap space?
Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger analyzed every NFL team’s salary cap situation for the next three years and ranked Baltimore as the eighth-best team in terms of salary cap health:
"“One of the biggest remaining questions of the offseason may be what happens with quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s potential extension, but Baltimore is a well-run franchise that navigates contract negotiations calmly and rationally.The Ravens no longer need to also pay top dollar to retain tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who is driving a hard bargain with the Kansas City Chiefs following a solid season transitioning full-time from right tackle over to the blindside.”"
Baltimore Ravens are setting the standard for how to run a successful franchise
As Spielberger notes, Lamar Jackson still hasn’t finalized his contract extension, and that will likely make a large dent in the Ravens’ overall cap space for the future.
Currently, the Ravens have roughly $4 million in available cap space per Spotrac, so the chances of them making a splash for a high-profile player are slim to none.
Baltimore has been known to be very responsible with their spending, more often choosing to prioritize draft picks over retaining players hungry for big-money contracts, all the while keeping the nucleus of the team intact.
Some of the Ravens’ decisions, like sending tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Chiefs in return for draft capital, panned out extremely well. Others, like letting center Bradley Bozeman walk, may end up biting the team in the rear.
For the most part, though, the Ravens have shown year after year they know how to run a franchise, and they know to run one well. Jackson’s upcoming extension will probably rival that of the top quarterbacks in the league and sit in the $40-45 million dollar range, though the star quarterback seems to be in no rush to ink a deal.
Jackson’s contract situation may very well be the last thing on the team’s mind as the Ravens look to forge ahead in a comeback season for the ages in 2022.
Whether they extend Jackson this year or the next, Eric DeCosta and the front office can sleep easy knowing they have the talent, the infrastructure, and the money to stay competitive for a long, long time.