Joe Flacco's six-year, $120.6 million contract will count just $6.8 million against the salary cap in 2013, freeing up room for the Baltimore Ravens to make a run at their own prospective free agents.
Even with the Flacco's cap-friendly number, however, it's "really practically impossible" that the Ravens will use the franchise tag on Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe or Ed Reed by Monday afternoon's deadline, salary-cap expert Joel Corry tells the Baltimore Sun. "The Ravens wouldn't be able to tender their restricted free agents and sign Flacco and accommodate a franchise tag. They just don't have the cap room."
The top priority appears to be re-signing Ellerbe, who was viewed by at least one source as the Ravens' best defensive player last season.
On the other hand, it's become evident that Kruger will be wearing another uniform as one of the top pass rushers on the open market.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Kruger's contract likely will "blow past" $9 million per season and could clear $10 million annually.
Possible landing spots for Kruger include the rival Cleveland Browns, seeking an edge rusher for Ray Horton's 3-4 defense, as well as the Indianapolis Colts. Former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano could view Kruger as Dwight Freeney's successor opposite Robert Mathis.
Either way, the Ravens are prepared to lose Kruger and cornerback Carey Williams, NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Monday on "NFL AM."Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.