The Ravens received good news in addressing their salary-cap concerns with news breaking Thursday night that the NFL has set the 2013 cap number at $123 million.
This is an increase from last season’s $120.6 million and will aid the Ravens in complying with the salary cap by the start of the new league year on March 12. The expectation only a few weeks ago was that the 2013 cap would be $121 million, but a jump in league revenue last season has reportedly increased that projected number by $2 million.
The higher cap number is good news for the Ravens, who may need to use the franchise tag on quarterback Joe Flacco. The deadline to use either the exclusive or non-exclusive tag is Monday at 4 p.m. One wrinkle to the higher-than-expected cap number is that it increases the projected non-exclusive tag for quarterbacks from $14.6 million to $14.9 million, according to NFL.com.
The Ravens have also placed their two retirees, linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk, on the reserve-retired list, meaning they have cleared an additional $6.4 million of space on their 2013 salary cap. This means Baltimore currently has an estimated $18 million in cap space, but that does not account for Flacco or any of the team’s unrestricted, restricted, or exclusive-rights free agents.
Of course, the Ravens are expected to make at least a couple roster cuts and could potentially restructure existing contracts to clear more cap space.