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Ravens likely to cut ties with McGahee and his $6M 2011 salary

It appears likely that Willis McGahee will be cut by the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.

The team decided at their recent evaluation meetings not to bring the running back and his $6 million in base salary back for the 2011 season, The Baltimore Sunreported on Monday, citing an NFL source.

When asked about McGahee's future, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that no players would be cut before the current CBA deal expires on March 3. Newsome was non-committal when asked if the running back will be with Baltimore next season.

"Right now, there are a lot of things that could happen before next season," Newsome said.

McGahee signed a seven-year deal with Baltimore in 2007. He is under contract for 2011, but 2012 ($6.5 million base salary) and 2013 ($7.2 million) are option years.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported that McGahee, who longs to be a starting tailback again, is not inclined to take less than his $6 million salary to stay behind Ray Rice. La Canfora added that the Ravens are in no rush to release McGahee, but a parting of the sides seems inevitable at some point this offseason.

McGahee, 29, earned $3.6 million to serve as Rice's backup last season, rushing for 380 yards and five touchdowns on 100 carries. Rice, 24, finished with 1,220 yards and five touchdowns on 307 carries. Rice added 63 catches for 556 yards and a TD reception, making him the more versatile of the two players.

If the Ravens cut ties with McGahee, it is unclear who will share the load with Rice for the run-first offense. Fullback Le'Ron McClain and his power-running style is an option, but he is due to become an unrestricted free agent later this offseason. Another route is to bring back McGahee. The Ravens will have the opportunity to make a new offer to McGahee once he becomes a free agent, presumably in the range of his 2010 salary.

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