In the world of sports, no other sport is more affected by the salary cap than perhaps the NFL, and the Baltimore Ravens are sitting pretty after terminating the contract of Vonta Leach.
The Ravens are now $6.049 million under the max salary cap of $123 million and have a wide array of options to use the cap space.
It should be noted that the $6.049 million number will come down once they agree to terms with their first round draft selection Matt Elam. The first year number for Elam will be $1.23 million which will leave $4.819 million to spend.
So what will the Ravens do with the excess funds? The first and most obvious option would be to bring in a veteran wide receiver to help fill the void left by the trade of Anquan Boldin. There are not many free agent wide receivers out there, but a trade is always a possibility with the guru Ozzie Newsome at the helm.
An intriguing option for the Ravens would be to just keep the funds in the bank as there is a stipulation in the NFL collective bargaining agreement that allows a team to rollover some excess funds into the following year. This may be a great option for Baltimore as 2014 is going to be a very tight salary cap year, so every extra dollar would be huge.
There are six players that will combine to take up $70.9 million of the 2014 salary cap, and the cap is expected to stay at the $123 million mark. Haloti Ngata will carry the biggest salary cap figure in 2014 at $16 million, while Joe Flacco ($14.8 million), Terrell Suggs ($12.4 million), Lardarius Webb ($10.5 million), Ray Rice ($8.75 million) and Marshal Yanda ($8.45 million) round out the six players that will account for over half of the 2014 salary cap.
Finally, Baltimore could use the excess funds to sign a young player to an extension who is entering the final year of his contract, such as tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, cornerback Corey Graham, offensive lineman Michael Oher, or defensive lineman Arthur Jones.
One thing Ravens fans can rest assured with is that Newsome will do what is best for the defending Super Bowl Champions and likely make the right choice.
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