Random Notes

There has been plenty of speculation about how Ray Lewis' new contract will be constructed. Most sources close to the negotiations have already reported that most of the framework for Lewis' new contract is set, with the exception of the bonus. The Baltimore Sun has reported that the Ravens might pay Lewis a bonus worth between $18-$21 million.

However, the most interesting aspect of this contract isn't how much money Lewis will ultimately receive, but how the lucrative contract is structured. Right now, there are two schools of thought on how the Ravens will complete this deal.

One, the Ravens will take the $9.5 million that is due to Lewis this year, and next, and roll that money in together with his new bonus. The Ravens would then thump down his base salaries from $4.75 million, to around $1.5 million for this year, and slightly more in 2003. That would ultimately save the Ravens $3.25 million in cap space this season. Depending on how the contract is constructed after this year, the Ravens would be facing the possibility of having to still pay Lewis most of his $21 million bonus over five years, plus whatever amount of base pay he should receive. This proposition is something that Lewis' agents, Roosevelt Barnes and Eugene Parker have bandied about for some time.

Two, the Ravens take 10% of the salary cap, and allot that money to Lewis over seven years. According to Tom Davis, a radio talk show host who works for 1300 WJFK, this is an idea that the Ravens have been proposing for some time. Although the particulars of how much of the percentage is given in bonus pay, and how much of the percentage is given in base pay wasn't revealed by Davis, it seems like 10% is the magic number.

The thinking here is, 3% of the cap would be worth Lewis' bonus, and 7% of the cap would be worth Lewis' base pay. By structuring the contract in this fashion, the Ravens would still pay Lewis close to the amount of bonus pay he is seeking, but it would be prorated over each season based on how much the salary cap increases per year

In other words, if the salary cap is worth $73 million next year, Lewis gets paid a total of $7.3 million, and so on…

The Baltimore Sun has also reported that Ed Reed's agent Jeff Moorad, is still asking for $200,000 more in bonus pay. There is still no word on exactly how much the bonus will be worth, but for the Ravens, $200,000 is still a good sum of money that they will need to haggle about.

As we reported last week, the Ravens were around $1.0138 under the salary cap before signing Javin Hunter, Tony Weaver and Ed Reed. In actuality, they were somewhere close to $1.0188 under the cap.

Since then, Weaver has received a bonus worth $1.25 million over four years, and Hunter has received a bonus worth $45,000 over three years. This leaves the Ravens with around $681,300 to sign Reed…

According to the Trenton Times, Antonio Freeman is set to accept a one-year deal with the Ravens by next week. The Times talked to a source close to the Eagles, who has stated that Freeman told the Eagles that he would like to play for his hometown team.

So far, there is still no official word on any of this news from either Freeman or his agent, Joel Segal. Still, it's no secret that Freeman desperately wants to play for Baltimore. He is from the city and he would also be given a chance to start as the No.2 receiver. So far, other teams have only promised him a No.3 role.

With that said, it's hard to fathom the Ravens offering Freeman anything without freeing up any additional cap space. Once they sign Ed Reed, the Ravens will be capped out


Ravens Insider Top Stories