The Ravens officially have placed inside linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk on the reserve-retired list.
With the retirements of Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, the Ravens have saved $6.4 million against the salary cap for the 2013 fiscal year.
Lewis' retirement gives the Ravens $4.35million in cap savings, while Birk's retirement returns $2.05 million against the salary cap. Lewis had a scheduled $5.4 million base salary, and Birk was due $2.75million.
With 49 contract commitments for 2013, including $1.8 million in dead money for former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff and cap figures of $13.02 million for outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and $11.05 million for defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, the Ravens' new salary-cap total is $105.919million.
If reports of a projected $123.9million salary-cap limit are accurate, the Ravens would have $17.981 million in cap room to spend. That figure doesn't reflect any re-signings of the team's unrestricted free agents or tenders assigned to restricted free agents.
Lewis and Birk retired after the Ravens' Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Lewis had announced before the postseason that he would retire, and Birk made his announcement last Friday during an appearance at Battle Grove Elementary School in Baltimore.
Suggs calls out Patriots
Suggs never has hidden his contempt for the New England Patriots.
He repeatedly has taken jabs at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and he characterized the franchise as "arrogant" following the AFC championship game this year.
Suggs upped the ante a bit during a radio appearance on Boston-based WEEI.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he "guarantees the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots."
Suggs told the radio station that he doesn't think the Patriots "respect anybody," and emphasized that his opinions are shared around the league.
"The NFL is not very big," Suggs said. "You think we don't talk to guys that have played for the New England Patriots, that have been on the New England Patriots that have been like, 'Oh, it's been like this.'
"It ain't just me. Why did (former New York Jets and Ravens linebacker) Bart Scott say the same thing? You think it's just us? You think it's just got something to do with us? No. This is because we have inside information. We know."
More Flacco math
Should the Ravens decide to make quarterback and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Joe Flacco their exclusive franchise player by the NFL's Monday afternoon deadline, the cost of business has become slightly less expensive.
With Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger restructuring his contract Thursday, his salary-cap figure for 2013 has been reduced to $13.596 million from $19.596 million.
That development dropped the exclusive franchise tag to $19.136million, the average of the top-five quarterbacks' salary-cap numbers. That figure is derived from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's $20.82 million salary-cap number ($12.5 million base salary), New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's $20.35 million ($13 million base salary), Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's $20million ($20 million base salary), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' $17.4 million ($9.75million base salary) and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers' $17.11 million ($12 million base salary).
This week, Roethlisberger and the Patriots' Brady, who received a $30million signing bonus, restructured their deals to effectively decrease the exclusive franchise tender from a previous high of $20.46 million.
If the Super Bowl champions, who remained in negotiations with Flacco as of late Thursday afternoon, are unable to sign him to a long-term deal by 4 p.m. Monday, they can prevent Flaccco from becoming an unrestricted free agent by making him their franchise player.
If Flacco becomes the Ravens' nonexclusive franchise player, it would cost $14.6 million. However, Flacco would be free to negotiate and sign an offer sheet with any NFL team. The Ravens still would retain the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet. If they opted not to match, they would be compensated with a pair of first-round draft picks.
Both Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome have expressed confidence in their chances of re-signing Flacco to a long-term deal.
The Ravens and other NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, have some interest in versatile unrestricted free-agent defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, according to a league source. Jean Francois, 26, was a solid rotational player last season on a strong 49ers defensive line, lining up at nose tackle and both defensive end spots in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme.
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