Ravens payroll shrinks to NFL's 2nd-smallest Only Eagles will spend less this year on salaries, bonuses and deferrals

October 10, 1998|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

The Ravens may be improving on the field, but their payroll has fallen to nearly the bottom of the league.

The players' payroll totals just $46.1 million, lower than all 30 NFL teams except the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We are being prudent because we have been high spenders who spent highly and didn't get a lot for it," said Ravens executive vice president David Modell.

He said the team's spending relative to other teams' will likely increase.

The figure, compiled by the NFL Players Association, represents actual payments scheduled this year, including all bonuses and deferrals.

It differs from the figure used to measure a team's compliance with the salary cap, or maximum payout under the league's collective bargaining agreement. The same agreement sets a minimum payroll.

The Ravens are about $1.8 million under the $52.38 million cap, at a level that is about average for NFL teams. The disparity between the two sets of payroll figures grows out of the the unique accounting rules that allow a signing bonus to be pro-rated over the term of a player's contract.

In the annual salary cap ledger, for example, a contract that pays a $3 million signing bonus and $1 million a year for three years can count as $2 million. The actual payout, however, would be $4 million the first year and $1 million in each of the next two years.

The San Diego Chargers topped the chart this year at $70 million, followed by the Carolina Panthers at $67.7 million.

NFL pay

What each team is spending on player salaries this year. All figures are millions. The salary cap is $52.38 million

Rank, team Total

1. San Diego Chargers 70.0

2. Carolina Panthers 67.7

3. Minnesota Vikings 66.8

4. Seattle Seahawks 65.4

5. San Francisco 49ers 64.1

6. New England Patriots 63.6

7. Washington Redskins 63.6

8. Arizona Cardinals 63.4

9. Denver Broncos 63.4

10. Cincinnati Bengals 62.5

11. Buffalo Bills 62.1

12. Tennessee Oilers 61.3

13. Pittsburgh Steelers 57.5

14. Jacksonville Jaguars 55.9

15. Dallas Cowboys 55.8

16. Oakland Raiders 54.9

17. Tampa Bay Bucs 54.4

18. New York Jets 53.6

19. Detroit Lions 53.5

20. Green Bay Packers 53.1

21. Kansas City Chiefs 52.9

22. New Orleans Saints 52.5

23. Atlanta Falcons 51.9

24. Indianapolis Colts 51.8

25. Chicago Bears 51.6

26. New York Giants 50.7

27. St. Louis Rams 48.2

28. Miami Dolphins 47.0

29. Ravens 46.1

30. Philadelphia Eagles 45.3

Source: NFL Players Association

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