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Late For Work 8/7: Heftiest Cap Figures On Ravens Roster

Ravens to garnish McKinnie’s pay. Reaction to Moneyball method. Heavier Ngata still nimble.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 9:05 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Heftiest Cap Figures On Ravens Roster

The Ravens have some cash to spare after creating breathing room under the salary cap with Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice’s five-year deal, reportedly worth $40 million.

The Ravens have $3.12 million in cap space, per The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, after Rice’s 2012 figure dropped from $7.74 million to $5 million.

“Yes, that’s enough to fit in a deal for quarterback Joe Flacco, which is actively being haggled over between agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, with no deal imminent at this time,” wrote Wilson.

A few former Ravens’ contracts are reportedly still counting against the cap this year, including running back Willis McGahee ($3.725) and cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth ($3 million) and Chris Carr ($2.85 million).

Which players are gobbling up most of the salary cap this season? The answer comes as no surprise – mostly Pro Bowlers, All-Pros, a 2011 Defensive Player of the Year and a franchise quarterback.

Below are the top 10 “heftiest cap figures,” per Wilson.

1. Terrell Suggs: $11.52 million
2. Haloti Ngata: $10.4 million
3. Ed Reed: $8.5 million
4. Joe Flacco: $8 million
5. Anquan Boldin: $7.531 million
6. Ray Lewis: $6.85 million
7. Ray Rice: $5 million
8. Vonta Leach: $4.33 million
9. Bryant McKinnie: $4.2 million
10. McGahee: $3.725 million

Ravens To Garnish Half Of McKinnie’s Pay

The Ravens will withhold half of tackle Bryant McKinnie’s net pay and send it to a New York lending agency, according to the Baltimore Business Journal.

“[McKinnie] won’t be working only for himself this season,” wrote ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio. “He’ll also be working for Pro Player Funding.”

The purpose of garnishing McKinnie’s compensation is to settle a lawsuit that Pro Player Funding filed against him, alleging the NFL star failed to pay $4.5 million in loans taken out during the lockout in 2011. The lending company filed suit when McKinnie missed a payment and the full amount came due.

As part of the settlement, Ravens management agreed to pay Pro Player Funding half of the net on McKinnie’s $3.2 million 2012 salary and bonuses plus half of any future earnings from the Ravens, according to the report. The lending company agreed not to take further action to enforce or collect the money as long the wages are garnished.

McKinnie isn’t the only NFL player the lending company has filed a lawsuit against. Per the Business Journal, the list includes former Oakland Raiders cornerback William Joseph, Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Allen and Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bennett.

Last April, NFL Players Association representative Jay Feely accused Pro Player Funding of handing out predatory loans during the lockout, according to Yahoo! Sports.

“It’s unclear whether, if McKinnie is cut and signs with the new team, the garnishment obligation will continue,” wrote Florio.

Reaction To Ravens’ ‘Moneyball’ Approach

The Ravens announced yesterday the hiring of math whiz Sandy Weil as the Director of Football Analytics. Weil will use in-depth statistical research to examine things like in-game situations and data mining related to the NFL Draft.

His role is relatively new to the NFL, but has already gained traction in baseball. The practice was made more popular in the bestselling book and Hollywood production, “Moneyball.”

As was showcased in the book and movie, the sports analytics approach was met with cynicism because some would argue that numbers can’t replace good coaching and scouting. Weil, a Yale graduate in mathematics, isn’t looking to replace a coach’s gut feeling or instincts, but rather help provide evidence to support or modify practices.

The approach is still new to the NFL, and analysts praise the Ravens for being forward-thinkers.

“Weil shouldn’t expect anything less [than skepticism], but good for the Ravens being forward-thinking enough in a business which can suffer from a group-think of evaluators,” wrote PFT.com’s Darin Gantt.

“Old-school coaching staffs and front offices probably regard such statistical analysis as hokum or gobbledygook, so it’s very good for the movement that the Patriots, Eagles, Packers and Ravens, four of the more highly successful franchises since 2002, are leading the way,” added NFL.com’s Brian McIntyre. “If the more successful teams are incorporating statistical analysis into how they construct their roster or approach game preparation, the teams watching the playoffs from home will have to either adapt or die.”

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley also likes the idea, but offers a word of caution, saying that the science can’t be allowed to take away from instincts in decision-making.

And all the numbers in the world can say the decision is a right one. But, in the end, coaches have to coach and players have to execute,” the AFC North blogger wrote. “I’m sure Weil is great at his job, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to make Lee Evans catch that pass in the AFC championship game.”

Ngata Nimble Even With Added Weight

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata returned to team work in practice yesterday after adding about 10 pounds of weight during the offseason in an effort to get more power.

Despite criticism that he may have put on too much weight, Ngata is sticking with the plan so he doesn’t feel worn down by the end of the season. Some of the first reviews of his movement at the higher weight are in and will calm fans’ fears.

“He still moves uncannily well for a player with so much bulk,” wrote Wilson.

Quick Hits

  • The Hall of Fame inducted its 2012 class on Saturday, and the question in Baltimore now becomes whether Ravens 11-time Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden will be inducted on the first ballot next year. Ogden would be the first Ravens drafted player to ever make the Hall of Fame. [ESPN]
  • Replacement officials will make NFL history, as Shannon Eastin, a veteran of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, will become the first NFL female referee during the San Diego Chargers-Green Bay Packers game Thursday night. [USA Today]
  • @RavensInsider [Wilson]: Very excited to now be covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Thank you to everyone at the Carroll County Times for a great 11 years. [Twitter]
  • @ Ant_Allen: Don’t even feel like my Bday…. still blessed tho 24 and counting [Twitter]
  • @RayRice27: Happy born day bro i will treat you to water at practice [Twitter]
  • @ RavensInsider: Torrey Smith: ‘He’s taking control. I’m on the Joe Flacco bandwagon. He’s been taking control of the offense. Our chemistry is growing.’ [Twitter]
  • @JayGlazer [Fox Sports]: He’s baaaaaack! Terrell Owens has agreed to a one year deal with the Seahawks. Hasn’t signed it yet but agreed to terms [Twitter]
  • @Ravens: RT @ScottHanson: How much Gatorade does an NFL team drink?  [This picture] +2 pallets outside. [Twitter]
  • “Speaking about fretting about injuries, before anyone does such a thing about center Matt Birk’s extended absence from practice, it’s probably worth remembering that the veteran barely practiced last training camp and he wound up playing all 18 games for the Ravens,” wrote Jeff Zrebiec. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • “[Tight end Ed] Dickson earned the criticism about his hands by dropping so many balls last year, but I’ve seen significant improvements from him in that area during training camp,” added Zrebiec. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • “Dual-threat backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor hasn’t been challenged by Curtis Painter, who lost eight starts last season with the Indianapolis Colts when he stood in for an injured Peyton Manning,” wrote Wilson. “Taylor has dazzled at times in reserve with his arm, and his feet, offering a different style than Flacco.” [The Baltimore Sun]

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