The Pittsburgh Steelers are not the only franchise that will be facing a numbers crunch whenever the 2021 salary cap number comes in. Every team will bear the brunt of the shortfall to some degree or another, because they will all be working with the same shortfall.
This was affect every team’s ability not only to retain their own players, but to sign players in free agency. Of course, the salary cap is not the only consideration that comes into play. Players also have to want to play for you, and not everybody is always simply out looking for the best deal for themselves at the best time.
When it comes to the Baltimore Ravens, a lot of people have been asking, for example, why any big-name free agent wide receivers would want to come to play for the team that throws the ball the least in the league, and who arguably has the worst passer among the above average quarterbacks.
“Players want to play with Lamar Jackson. I really do kind of laugh at the notion that players don’t want to come here and play with Lamar, because he’s one of the very best young players in the NFL”, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said about that earlier this month. “We’ve got a lot of other young players, as well, who fit that criteria”.
“People want to play here. It’s a team that’s positioned well for the future”, he added. “We’ve got one of the great coaches in the NFL. We’ve got one of the great owners in the NFL. We’ve got a facility, here. We’ve got a stadium. We’ve got a great fanbase. There are a lot of reasons to be very excited about the Baltimore Ravens moving forward”.
The Ravens have been among the most successful franchises in the league since Jackson took over at quarterback. They went 14-2 in 2019, for example, though they fell short of the division this past season, going 11-5. They did record their first postseason victory with Jackson, but lost in the Divisional Round to the Buffalo Bills.
“I think players look at us as a franchise that has a commitment to being the best we can be”, DeCosta said. “It starts with ownership. We spend as much money as we can on players every single year. You look at how much money we spend; we’re always going to spend up until the cap, and in many cases, cash over cap, every single year, to be the best team we can be”.
Baltimore has a lot of things going for them right now, but there are still some areas where they have to improve to get over the hump. It’s a tall task for all the 31 other teams, of course, but do they have the firepower to compete with Patrick Mahomes?