Ravens place Lewis, Birk on retired list

The Ravens officially placed linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk on the reserve-retired list Thursday, according to ESPN's John Clayton.

Baltimore now clears $6.4 million off its cap with this move. Lewis accounted for $4.35 million in savings while Birk opened up $2.05 million.

That gives the Ravens $15.8 million in cap room. If the Ravens can't reach a long-term deal with quarterback Joe Flacco in five days, a large chunk of the cap room will go to the franchise tag.

It will cost the Ravens $14.7 million to put the tag on Flacco on March 4. If they put the exclusive tag on Flacco, which prohibits him from negotiating with other teams, the tag will cost the Ravens an estimated $19 million in April, when the top five quarterback salaries in 2013 are finalized.