Ravens Settle Contract Disputes with Derek Wolfe, Earl Thomas

Ravens Earl Thomas

Getty Former Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas celebrates a play against his former team in 2019.

The Baltimore Ravens have reached settlements with a pair of former veteran defenders in Derek Wolfe and Earl Thomas, with Wolfe receiving $1.2 million in an injury settlement and Thomas settling his grievance for $1.5 million.

The news, as reported by Brian McFarland of the Russell Street Report, will result in a $700,000 reduction in the Ravens’ 2022 salary cap space, bringing them to $3.3 million, per the NFLPA. That’s the second-lowest amount of cap space in the league behind the New England Patriots, leaving Baltimore with little room to plug the remaining holes on their roster.

Wolfe was released on June 14 after missing the entire 2021 season and undergoing multiple surgeries during the offseason. He was reportedly considering retirement in March but announced his plans to return for the 2022 season, though a second surgery on June 13 cast doubt on that possibility.

Though Wolfe’s 2022 salary was guaranteed, the Ravens could have filed a grievance over his offseason activities, which including carrying a 300-pound bear on his back. Instead, the two sides came to a settlement that allows the Ravens to recoup $800,000 of Wolfe’s salary and make the veteran defensive lineman a free agent.

Ravens Finally End Earl Thomas Saga

The Ravens finally closed the Earl Thomas chapter in Baltimore as well, giving the seven-time Pro Bowl safety $1.5 million to settle their grievance.

The Ravens released Thomas in 2020 for “personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens,” and filed a grievance attempting to deny Thomas his $10 million guaranteed salary for the season.

That allowed the Ravens to have $10 million of extra cap space in 2020 as the grievance dragged on for almost two years. The team ended up saving $8.5 million overall, with Thomas’ $1.5 million settlement counting against the 2022 cap.

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