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Why the Ravens' Cut & Re-Signed Justin Forsett

Why the Ravens' Cut & Re-Signed Justin Forsett

One of the stranger transactions this past weekend came from the Baltimore Ravens, who shockingly released projected starting running back Justin Forsett prior to the 53-man roster deadline. After further review, the move appears to have simply been a logistical one.

The plan involved safety Matt Elam OR defensive end Carl Davis, both of whom are injured, but also both candidates for short-term injured reserve. However in order to designate a player to STIR, they must remain on the 53-man roster for 1 league day (Sunday).

So in order to keep both on the roster through Sunday, the Ravens' needed an extra slot. This came from the release of Justin Forsett, who as a vested-veteran did not need to clear waivers. They had already agreed to re-sign him, as they've since done, after placing Elam & Davis on IR Sunday afternoon. The Ravens can now designate one of those as their STIR players as Week 1 nears.

Forsett meanwhile was re-signed to his identical 2 year, $6M contract, with salaries of $3M in each of the next two seasons. In terms of cap hits all is exactly the same, as his $700,000 in signing bonus allocation converted to dead cap instead of active cap. He still account for $3.7M in cap space in each of 2016 and 2017. And as a "thank you" for accepting this ordeal, the Ravens threw in a $100,000 bonus should he gain more than 640 rushing yards this season.

It's a neat example of how GMs can get creative come this time of year.