Injured linebacker McClain, Ravens reportedly restructure contract

August 15, 2013 | Luke Jones

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Still sidelined as he recovers from a spinal cord contusion suffered last December, veteran linebacker Jameel McClain is reportedly taking a smaller salary to remain with the Baltimore Ravens this season.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the Ravens have reduced McClain’s $3 million base salary for the 2013 season to just $1.5 million, offering an additional $1.5 million in cap savings for general manager Ozzie Newsome. The report also indicated that McClain’s projected 2014 salary of $3.2 million was unchanged.

Baltimore now has roughly $5.5 million in salary cap space, which is important considering Newsome will keep his eyes on the market for more wide receiver help between now and the start of the regular season. The Ravens signed veteran slot receiver Brandon Stokley to a one-year minimum salary benefit contract earlier in the week, which pays him a $940,000 salary but carries only a $620,000 cap charge. Veteran tight end Dallas Clark also signed a  one-year minimum salary benefit contract.

Signed to a three-year, $10.5 million contract that included a $3.6 million signing bonus in 2012, McClain injured his neck against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 9. The 28-year-old linebacker was soon placed on injured reserve and is currently on the active physically unable to perform list. It’s appearing more and more likely that McClain will be placed on the reserve PUP list to begin the season, forcing him to miss at least the first six weeks of game action as he hopes to eventually be cleared by doctors for contact.

Prior to restructuring his deal, McClain carried the ninth-highest cap figure among players currently on the projected 2013 roster, but he will now count for only $2.7 million against the salary cap in 2013.

Veteran Daryl Smith has essentially taken McClain’s spot in the starting defense while the sixth-year linebacker continues to recover.

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