The Baltimore Ravens, and every other NFL team for that matter must trim their rosters down to their 53-man active roster by 6:00 pm Saturday evening. Baltimore began their decent to 53 as they made several cuts and releases Friday.
Although most of the players that received their walking papers yesterday were not that surprising, there were a few that made you say, "really?"
Baltimore cut running back Anthony Allen and seventh round draft pick CB Marc Anthony. Allen was not as big of a surprise after his poor performance in the preseason and the emergence of Bobby Rainey as the best candidate for the number three running back spot, but the cut of Anthony was a bit of a shocker. The shock was not so much in cutting him due to his poor performance, but the Ravens and GM Ozzie Newsome do not like to cut draft picks, especially current draft picks, so Anthony's performance in practice and training camp must have been well below par in order for the Ravens to make the move. Anthony became the first current year draft pick cut by the Ravens since 2009.
The Ravens also waived quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Dayne Crist, running back Delone Carter, tight end Alex Silvestro, linebackers Nigel Carr and Brandon Copeland, offensive tackles Jordan Devey and Rogers Gaines, center Reggie Stephens. Also, as expected, linebacker D.J. Bryant (knee) was placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a serious injury in the preseason finale against the Rams.
Although no real shocks in that list, Baltimore answered the question of whether or not they would carry three quarterbacks with Hanie, and the Ravens came to the realization that they basically gave WR David Reed to the Colts, as they cut Carter, who they received in exchange of Reed.
Despite all of the moves made yesterday, Baltimore is still at 63 players right now and will have to trim their roster down by ten more before tonight's deadline. Both Dennis Pitta and Ryan Jensen could be placed on IR, which would bring the roster down to 61, but even then, eight more players would have to be cut. Oh, but wait, there is more fortune for the Ravens as both Asa Jackson and Christian Thompson will be placed on the reserve-suspended list due to their NFL suspensions starting the season, so that trims the roster by two more.
The important positions to watch for today would be the wide receiver and tight end positions. Not a single wide receiver of the eight currently on the roster was let go yesterday, so it will be interesting to see which ones, if any are let go today. Silvestro was the only tight end released yesterday, so obviously the coaching staff is still debating on whether or not to keep undrafted free agent Matt Furstenburg or veteran Billy Bajema. It is unlikely that Baltimore would keep four tight ends, but when overall receiving is a weakness, the team may want as many options available to them as possible.
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