The salary-cap impact of
Due a $5.4 million base salary in 2013, Lewis was scheduled for a salary-cap figure of $7.3 million.
The Ravens save the $5.4 million by virtue of Lewis' exit from the roster, but will still have to account for his $1.9 million in prorated bonus for 2013 and $650,000 and $400,000 in 2014 and 2015 for a total of $2.95 million in total dead money.
Lewis was signed to a seven-year, $42.5 million contract extension that included $16.5 million in total guaranteed money, including a signing bonus of $6.25 million.
The Ravens are expected to face a tight salary-cap situation even with Lewis' departure because they are expected to have to use the franchise tag to retain quarterback
The outlook for free safety
Reed could be expensive to retain after making $7.2 million this year in the final year of his contract.
Reed hasn't hired a new agent to represent him after a contract extension was broached last year. The Ravens haven't held talks with Reed this year, but he's expected to hire an agent after the season.
If the future Hall of Fame defender heads elsewhere, expect the potential suitors to include the
Reed will also contemplate retirement depending on how the Ravens fare in the postseason.
The Ravens will be challenged to replace a trio of key defensive free agents: outside linebacker
Ellerbe is expected to field a strong market for his services as one of the top inside linebackers available if he hits free agency. He'll be an important player for the Ravens to try to retain following Lewis' retirement.
Despite dealing with a broken thumb, a sprained thumb, a left foot injury and a sprained right ankle that limited him to 13 games and seven starts, Ellerbe recorded a career-high 89 tackles to rank second on the team. He also emerged as the Ravens' top inside blitzer with 4 1/2 sacks.
Although the Ravens made a $10.5 million commitment to
While Flacco is the No. 1 priority for the Ravens' offseason financially, they'll have other business to conduct to try to upgrade a defense that has improved over the past six games to finish the season ranked 17th in the