Ravens restructure Marlon Humphrey's contract, create cap space. Is a trade coming?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens, as many more franchises across the NFL did on Wednesday's deadline, completed some restructuring of the contracts of their players in order to comply with the league salary rules ahead of the start of the 2023 regular season on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Brian McFarland of Russell Street Report wrote a very comprehensive piece about all of the tiny details hidden in the Salary Cap rulebook, but the Ravens' restructuring of Marlon Humphrey's contract is linked to the "Rule of 51."

Before Wednesday, the Ravens were operating nearly $3 million over the salary cap. That's simply illegal and it had to change before the ball gets rolling on Thursday Night Football's Chiefs vs. Lions matchup.

In order to solve that, the Ravens created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring Humphrey's contract, thus falling around $4 million below the cap, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

If you're new to the NFL or this type of transaction, get accustomed to it because it happens fairly frequently these days. The Ravens simply moved some of Humphrey's base salary into a bonus payment, thus freeing that huge chunk of space.

The important question now is what is next for Baltimore, and what the franchise might be plotting in the shadows in order to fill the freed-up space.

Just a few days ago, GM Eric DeCosta said that the Ravens "will maybe make a trade" as the season progresses. That, of course, was impossible considering the illegal and in-the-red situation of Baltimore's salary cap before Wednesday. Entering Thursday, though, that has suddenly changed.

According to Over The Cap, the Ravens have opened nearly $5 million in cap space, the 10th-most league-wide pending moves made by the Chiefs before TNF. The Ravens are also one of the healthiest franchises in terms of dead money, owing just $11 million there.

It is very early to know what DeCosta and the Ravens are planning to do with their newfound cap room, but there have been whispers and talk about potential trades involving struggling EDGE David Ojabo and/or overpaid WR Devin Duvernay.

Mark Andrews returned to practice on Wednesday. Yay!. dark. Next. Mark Andrews returned to practice on Wednesday. Yay!

After the addition of Jadeveon Clowney to the pass-rushing unit, and the presence of WR5 Tylan Wallace on the wideout corps (even more with his special-team skill set and prowess), it'd be good for the Ravens to dump any of the aforementioned two players to land a much-needed cornerback or a top-tier lineman.

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