McNair's deal worth $32 million maximum

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens' major investment in new quarterback Steve McNair carries a maximum value of $32 million over the course of his five-year contract, according to NFL Players Association documents. However, the three-time Pro Bowl selection's financial package is actually built to act as a three-year agreement that will pay him a total of $20 million.

McNair, 33, is slated to receive an $11 million roster bonus on Sept. 1 of this year in lieu of a formal signing bonus. He will be paid a base salary of $1 million.

McNair's base salaries elevate significantly beginning in 2009 when he's scheduled to be paid $6 million. He's due another $6 million in 2010 when his contract concludes.

McNair is due a $1 million option bonus next spring. His base salary for 2007 is $3 million and he's to be paid a $4 million base salary in 2008.

McNair's salary-cap figure for this season is a manageable $3.2 million, much less than the $23.46 million he counted against the Tennessee Titans' books prior to being traded to Baltimore on Thursday for a fourth-round draft pick in next year's draft. He still counts over $14 million against the Titans' salary cap this year, a reduction of $9 million.

Because of the prorated portion of McNair's bonus and his increased base salaries over the next few years, his salary-cap figures will count for $5.45 million in 2007 and $6.45 million in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, McNair's salary-cap figures would account for $8.45 million each year.

Team president Dick Cass estimated at the Ravens' spring football festival that the team is essentially in the midst of a two-year window to make another Super Bowl run. After the next two seasons, the team may have to shed several large salaries to comply with the league's salary cap in a roster purge that could mirror the 2002 offseason.

The Ravens could either attempt to restructure contracts of older players, cut them or several veterans might opt to retire.

Former All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis is due a $6.5 million base salary in 2008, the final year of a seven-year, $50 million contract that included a $19 million signing bonus.

Plus, cornerback Chris McAlister is due $8 million in 2008, the same year offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden is due $7.515 million, cornerback Samari Rolle is due $3.9 million, wide receiver Derrick Mason is due $3 million and defensive end Trevor Pryce is owed $3 million.

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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