A Whole Lot Of Ngata
The Baltimore Ravens have a tough decision to make with Haloti Ngata, their star veteran defensive tackle. Ngata will cost the Ravens $16 million in cap space this season.
Haloti Ngata is one of the greatest Ravens of all time. He had a resurgent 2014 season. The problem is that you don’t pay players for sentimental reasons but rather what you can expect to get out of them on the field. Ngata is worth a lot, but his contract is a burden.
It is arguable that the Ngata contract could be one if the worst contracts ever drawn up by the Ravens. The Ravens and Ngata agreed to a 5 year $61 million dollar deal in 2012. In that time Ngata has been hampered by several injuries. The Ravens got a lot from Ngata, but it was not always to the level of his salary. Now the deal is the Ravens biggest roadblock to a productive offseason.
The Ravens are prepared to cut Ngata if an cap space relieving extension cannot be agreed to. It would be a sad day but the Ravens are equipped to move on. Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan are two young studs at the same position. The Ravens also expect big things from Brent Urban in 2015. The Ravens talent pool along the defensive line does not exactly give Ngata leverage.
The goal is to extend Ngata’s contract. This would insure that he will retire in purple and black. The situation is comparable to the Terrell Suggs extension. Though according to reports, the negotiations are not going swimmingly; Ngata turned down the Ravens first proposed pay cut.
The Ravens surely still intend to cut Ngata’s cap hit in half. It is understandable that Ngata wouldn’t want to take less, the 9 year starter is facing his career’s mortality. it is however in his best interests to restructure. There is no guarantee another team will offer a big contract to him; Ngata is valued most as a Raven.
The Ravens are left with no choice in this matter. The team came close to Super Bowl glory with the worst secondary in the NFL; a wisely spent offseason could get the Ravens back to the big game. Haloti Ngata and his cap space cannot get in the way of this.
The Ravens have a way of working things out at the last minute. But Baltimore fans should cross their fingers for a resolution between Ngata and the team. Otherwise the Ravens have to move on from the fan favorite defensive tackle.