McCrary's new deal opens up cap space

That sound you just heard was the collective sigh of relief the Ravens organization just let out. After being held down by cap constraints all winter long, the Ravens have now gained an extra 4mil in space thanks to Michael McCrary. McCrary has agreed to extend his contract through 2006, paying him a 3.6mil bonus, and an average of 4mil per season.

Baltimore is a good city to play in," McCrary told The Sun last night. "We've lost a lot of players. Everybody is counting us out. But we still have a lot of players who have a lot of heart, like Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware and Chris McAlister. If you have guys like that, the rest of the team will follow. I don't consider myself near the end of my career, but I'm happy that this deal will give me an opportunity to retire in Baltimore as a Raven."


The new deal will lower his cap number by 5mil, and give the Ravens 5.4mil in cap space. Around 3.4mil should be used for the draft and to sign undrafted rookies.


The other 2mil in space would be used to attract a couple of free agents before the draft. Kevin Hardy and Sam Adams are the Ravens' main targets to sign this week. A source close to the Cowboys has said that talks between Hardy have started to heat up.


The Ft. Worth Star Telegram reports that a deal with Hardy could be completed in a couple of days. However, things could change considering the Ravens have a scheduled visit with Hardy this week, and they now have the money to make a serious push to sign him. Hardy is reportedly asking for a small 1yr deal, with the option for a second year. The Ravens would likely use Hardy as an ILB, or use him in a rotation at either OLB spots.


As for Adams, the Jets are reportedly interested in trying to sign him to a small deal. The Jets lost the bidding war to sign DT Grady Jackson, and want to sign a DT before the draft. Adams was regarded as the best DT available when FA started but he still remains unsigned. This has something to with the fact that Adams has been asking for a 7-10mil bonus, plus a deal that would average 6mil a year. In a market that is very dry to begin with, most teams have shied away from meeting his high demands. If the Ravens re-sign Adams, they would likely use him as a DE in the 3-4 scheme.


Signing both players would also minimize the Ravens' needs on defense heading into the draft. They would still need to draft starters at the CB and NT positions, but the rest of the defensive players taken could be used as backups.

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