The first important date on the calendar to circle for the Baltimore this off-season will be March 13, the day the NFL’s new financial year officially starts, with free agency beginning and the new salary cap number in place.
Although the maximum cap number hasn’t been released — whatever it is — the Ravens have to be under it after March 13.
That means if the Ravens decide to release some of their older, more expensive veterans, like the team did last season, it will most likely take place in the next five weeks or so.
Veterans Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Willis McGahee and Kelly Gregg were all let go before last season to make room under the cap for Marshal Yanda, Vonta Leach and Ricky Williams.
Expect to see similar moves this off-season as the Ravens try to free enough cap space to retain impending free agents like running back Ray Rice and left guard Ben Grubbs.
Here are three veterans that are in danger of being pink slipped:
1. Cornerback Domonique Foxworth– Having played in just two games in each of the past two seasons because of a torn ACL, Foxworth is due to make more than $7 million in 2012. With a young and upcoming crop of cornerbacks that features the likes of Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Jimmy Smith and Danny Gorrer, it’s almost a forgone conclusion that Foxworth won’t be back.
2. Cornerback Chris Carr– Due to injuries and inconsistent play, Carr rapidly fell down the team’s depth chart and it is all but guaranteed he won’t be returning to play for the Ravens next season either. The Ravens re-signed Carr prior to the start of last season because they were worried about the lack of depth at the position. Carr is due over $4 million in 2012.
3. Wide Receiver Lee Evans– Evans caught a dismal four passes for 74 yards in the regular season after being acquired from Buffalo in the preseason, and oh by the way, he squandered what would have been the likely game-winning touchdown in New England in the AFC Championship Game. He has had a productive career and will probably bounce back, but because of Torrey Smith’s emergence, to bring back what appears to be a poor man’s Smith at this point — for $5 million — makes absolutely no sense for the Ravens.