Ravens Cut Roster to 53, More Moves Likely to Come
The Ravens cut their roster to the mandatory 53 players on Tuesday. A process that began on Monday, as the Ravens cut three players and moved running back J.K. Dobbins to season ending injured reserve.
Tuesday saw the bulk of players cut as teams across the league had to get down to a 53-man roster before the 4 p.m. deadline.
The Ravens began the day by releasing linebacker Otaro Alaka and receiver Deon Cain. While also placing offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James on injured reserve. James suffered a torn achilles in May and was released by the Denver Broncos. James will be eligible to return to practice as soon as week seven and play in games as soon as week ten, assuming he is healthy to do so. Alaka was placed on IR last season after suffering a season-ending knee injury. Deon was signed by the Ravens in the offseason but was injured through much of camp only playing in the Ravens final preseason game last Saturday.
This training camp the Ravens had to make some tough decisions as they cut the roster down to 53 players. This left the Ravens to surprisingly release several veterans. These veteran cuts included outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, defensive back Anthony Levine Sr., Nose tackle Justin Ellis, defensive end Chris Smith, and tight end Eric Tomlinson. It is possible that one or more of these players will return to the Ravens after some players on the 53-man roster are placed on injured reserve. None of these players will have to pass through waivers and are free to sign with any team.
The Ravens will only be going with two quarterbacks on the active roster for the first time since 2018 as Trace McSorley was released. The third year quarterback struggled in his first and only preseason game as he would miss the Ravens final two preseason games with a back injury. Second year player Tyler Huntley took control of the Ravens offense in McSorley’s absence and left no doubt as to who should backup starter Lamar Jackson come week one.
McSorley could come back to the Ravens practice squad assuming he clears waivers.
Rookie fifth-round pick Ben Mason and undrafted rookie running back Nate McCrary were both released Tuesday. Mason saw most of his preseason snaps on special teams as he was a hybrid fullback, tight end. Both Mason and McCrary saw most of their play time in Saturday’s last preseason game.
After J.K. Dobbins went down in the first quarter, Ty’Son Williams who made 53-man roster as the presumed number two running back, only saw four carries before being removed from the game. This left Mason and McCrary as the Ravens only running backs left to finish the game. Both players could benefit from returning to the Ravens practice squad.
Preseason standout kicker Jake Verity was also released as the Ravens were unable to find a suitable trade partner. While Verity had his roughest outing last Saturday missing a 40-yard field goal as well as having an extra point blocked, he did enough to show he deserves to be kicking on Sundays. Verity made kicks from 42,44, and 53-yards during the preseason and also showed his strong leg having multiple touchback on kickoffs while also showing his ability to punt.
Two other preseason standouts, wide receiver Binjimen Victor and defensive back Nigel Warrior were released. Warrior spent last season on the practice squad and started camp sidelined by injury. Warrior would finish the preseason strong with eight tackles in the final two preseason games. Warriors release opened the door for third-year cornerback Chris Westry and undrafted rookie safety Ar’Darius Washington to make the 53-man active roster.
After not showing much in the Ravens first two preseason games. Victor had his best game of the preseason finishing Saturday night against the Washington Football Team as the Ravens leading receiver, catching five passes for 85-yards adding one touchdown.
The Ravens would also make a trade before the end of the day sending guard Ben Bredeson to the New York Giants. The Ravens sent Bredeson, a 2022 fifth-round pick, acquired from the Chiefs in the Orlando Brown trade. As well as a 2023 seventh-round pick in exchange for the Giants 2022 fourth-round selection. In two seasons with the Ravens the Michigan product has played in ten games and was placed on injured reserve late last season.
The Ravens would also release defensive tackles Aaron Crawford and Jovan Swann. Offensive tackles Adrian Ealy and Foster Sarell. As well as tight end Tony Polijan and wide receiver Jaylon Moore.
The Ravens will practice for the next two weeks as they prepare for their week one Monday night matchup against the the Las Vegas Raiders on September 13th.