The Ravens are asking cornerback Lardarius Webb to reduce his salary for the 2015 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Webb’s contract calls for an $8MM base salary this coming year, to go along with a $12MM cap number.
Webb didn’t escape unscathed during a 2014 season in which the Ravens’ secondary was decimated by injuries. The veteran corner missed three games early in the year with a lower back injury, and appeared to be somewhat hampered by those back issues throughout the season. Webb’s season-long grade on Pro Football Focus (subscription required) reflected those injury problems — he ranked 78th out of 108 qualified cornerbacks in 2014 after grading as a top-20 corner in 2013.
With Webb’s cap hit set to jump from $7.5MM to $12MM, it’s unclear if the Ravens would cut him if he refuses to take a pay cut — since he still has $10MM in prorated bonus money left on his deal over the next three seasons, releasing him would create just $2MM in cap savings if he’s not designated as a post-June 1 cut. Additionally, if he’s healthy again for the 2014 season, the Ravens could use Webb’s presence in the secondary.
Whether or not Webb returns for 2015, the Ravens are expected to add cornerbacks this offseason to help solidify a group led by Jimmy Smith, whose 2014 campaign ended early due to a foot injury. Cary Williams, released today by the Eagles, reportedly has interest in returning to Baltimore and makes some sense as a veteran target for the team.