Ravens HC John Harbaugh made it clear that he fully expects them to get a long-term deal done with DL Haloti Ngata.
“I’m real confident we can get that done. I really believe it will get done,” Harbaugh told WNST.net’s Luke Jones at the NFL combine. “I don’t have any doubt in my mind it’ll get done, but it’s got to get done.
“He loves Baltimore. He loves the fans. He loves the organization,” Harbaugh said. “He wants to be here. We want him here. It’s just a matter of [senior vice president of football administration] Pat Moriarty and [Ngata’s agent] Mike McCartney coming to terms on something that Haloti feels great about and the organization feels great about.”
The Ravens find themselves in a tough cap position right now, and Ngata will count $16 million against the Ravens’ 2015 salary cap, which is the highest figure for anyone on Baltimore’s roster.
Ngata clearly represents the easiest form of cap relief for the Ravens, which has led some to speculate that he could be a potential cap casualty.
Parting ways with Ngata could offer a lot of cap relief, but it could also create some locker room issues.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN previously mentioned that signing Ngata to an extension that would come with a more team-friendly cap figure this season is “far from a slam dunk.”
Hensley added that Ngata might believe he could make more money with a new team, which would further complicate the situation.
With Jernigan already on their roster, Ngata having served a four-game suspension and currently 31 years old, there is definitely a chance the Ravens could move on without him.
Ngata, 31, still has one year remaining on his five-year, $61 million contract that included $37.1 million guaranteed. His base salary for the 2015 season is $8.5 million.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Ngata would free up $8.5 million in cap space while creating $7.5 million in dead money.
In 2014, appeared in 12 games and recorded 32 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and seven pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 9 defensive end in a 3-4 system out of 47 qualifying players.