Hello from Las Vegas, where the weather is warm, and ... well, I'll just stop there.
I'm here through the weekend for a buddy's bachelor party, but will still check in every now and then to publish a quick entry and check comments. This is actually my first Vegas trip, so I plan on spending minimal time around my laptop. I'm excited to see what the city holds outside of my hotel room.
Hopefully I'll return without needing to pawn my laptop for extra blackjack money, but I can't make any promises.
We've discussed how the Ravens are unlikely to retain wide receiver Lee Evans and cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr given their current contract situations and cap figures for next season.
Evans' 2012 base salary is $3.2 million, his salary-cap number is $5.6 million and he's owed a $1 million roster bonus due March 18. That's obviously too much to hand over to a guy who missed seven games this season due to injury and made just four catches all year.
Foxworth is owed $5.6 million in 2012 in what will be the final year of the four-year, $27.2 million deal he signed in 2009. Carr still has three years left on the four-year, $14 million deal he inked last summer, but he appeared in just nine games this season and even when healthy, rarely saw time in the secondary.
Again, that's just too much for those two corners considering their standing on the depth chart at this point.
But while Evans, Foxworth and Carr will almost certainly not be brought back under their current contracts, I think it's important to point out that it doesn't necessarily mean they won't be back at all.
The Ravens could approach these players and talk about renegotiating their deals, which would free up cap space and lessen the amount of guaranteed money the team would need to pay out while also offering the veterans a chance to earn back playing time and position themselves for a raise in 2013. And there's a chance Evans, Foxworth or Carr might be receptive to such an offer.
In Evans' case, if the Ravens cut him loose, he's unlikely to find many suitors - if any - willing to give him a decent chunk of guaranteed money. Four regular season catches and a key drop in the playoffs won't inspire teams to come running to his agent offering big-money deals.
If the Ravens offer to restructure his deal, Evans could still earn the team's No. 3 wide receiver job in camp, and if he stays healthy, will certainly improve upon his 2011 season. He enjoyed his time in Baltimore and feels badly about how things ended in the postseason, and this would give him a chance to make good.
Meanwhile, from the Ravens' perspective, they're still invested in Evans, given that they traded away a fourth-round pick in order to acquire him. Evans had never put up fewer than 578 yards or three touchdowns in a season prior to 2011, and unless that ankle continues to be a problem, he's likely to bounce back and deliver decent numbers given a chance.
There appears to be less reason for Foxworth or Carr to return to Baltimore, given the fact they've been bypassed on the depth chart by Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith and could probably have a shot at more playing time elsewhere.
But as general manager Ozzie Newsome has said many times, you can never have too many cornerbacks. The Ravens value the leadership that both Foxworth and Carr provide, and like Evans, the two corners might feel they owe something to the organization having underperformed during their current contracts.
I'm not saying you should write in Evans, Foxworth and Carr as members of the 2012 Ravens, but I am saying you shouldn't count them out.