It has been well-documented that the Ravens are up against the NFL's salary cap limit as the 2012 season approaches.
The Pro Football Talk website reported last month that Baltimore had less to spend than any of the leagues other 31 teams. Now, NFL.com has followed that up with a post detailing the situation.
The Ravens have 606,858 of available cap room, according to analyst Brian McIntyre, meaning they have spent roughly 127.5 million of their adjusted cap limit, which is slightly different for each team depending on a variety of factors.
The Cincinnati Bengals, by comparison, have 16.309 million of available space, according to McIntyre.
The decimal-point detail and the fact that the article is on the league site leaves little doubt about its accuracy, and buried inside it is a nugget as interesting as it is surprising:
The Ravens currently have the fifth-lowest amount of committed cash for the 2013 season, according to McIntyre.
In other words, while they might be stuck in cap jail now, the situation could be temporary. They could be in position to spend more freely down the road.
It goes without saying that some of that potential leg room is earmarked for quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice, both of whom are seeking lucrative longterm deals. The Ravens have repeatedly said that they want to get both deals done, but neither player has found the teams offers to their liking yet.
Safety Ed Reed also clearly would like a lucrative extension on the six-year deal he signed in 2006, which is set to expire after this season. The Ravens havent indicated their plan for dealing with Reed and his looming deadline.
As for others who might eat up some of that spending room, there are always young players arriving at the point in their careers when they can demand more money, as was the case with Lardarius Webb this past offseason. Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta will reach restricted free agency after this season, for instance, and the team might want to lock one or both up to keep them off the market, as happened with Webb.
The bulk of the NFL.com article is about what the Ravens might to do to give themselves more immediate room, such as cut veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who is due to make 3.2 million this season. Any deal with Rice or Flacco could also be structured to open up more immediate room.
But regardless, the longrange picture apparently is rosier, at least at this early point.