Baltimore Ravens Final Roster Cuts Analysis
By Brett Foote
Aug 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Keith Wenning (10) makes a throw against the New Orleans Saints in the second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens final roster is set as the team made several difficult decisions to reach the 53 player limit before Saturday’s 4 pm league imposed deadline. A few of these cuts were surprising, to say the least, but most were widely anticipated. No matter what, a deep and talented roster means that at least a few good players are going to find themselves on waivers.
But that’s a great problem to have. While the team will likely lose a player or two by exposing them to waivers, there are NFL teams (that we won’t name) that wish they had the kind of depth the Ravens enjoy. Take a look at the cuts happening around the league and you will see some unfamiliar names and fringe roster types some teams are counting on to play major roles in the coming season.
No matter what, a deep and talented roster means that at least a few good players are going to find themselves on waivers.
Everyone has their own opinion about who to keep or cut, and there will be plenty of analysis in the coming days, along with some criticism and praise. Let’s take a look at some early analysis going on around the interwebs and look forward to what could happen in the next few days.
John Eisenberg thinks the roster situation is fluid
John Eisenberg at BaltimoreRavens.com believes that the Raven’s roster is by no means set in stone, and that the team will continue to tinker with it. Especially in regards to wide receiver and cornerback. It was quite surprising that the team kept a whopping seven wide receivers, but it speaks to the depth of talent they have this year at a position they were starved at last season.
Eisenberg thinks that one of those seven could still be in trouble if the team adds a player at another position. And we completely agree. Cornerback also seems unsettled as the team works to find the right combination behind starters Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith. Cutting Dominique Franks seemed a little odd after he held up pretty good in preseason action, but it speaks to the liquidity of the position.
Jamison Hensley expects additions to defensive and offensive lines
The Ravens are a bit thin on the defensive line following yesterday’s moves which left them with only five. Jamison Hensley at ESPN expects the team to make an addition or two there, plus potentially add a veteran offensive lineman such as Adam Snyder, who was cut by the San Francisco 49ers.
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Hensley thinks that the Ravens could also add a veteran corner such as Champ Bailey, Kelvin Hayden, Leon McFadden, or Johnny Patrick. The team can also resign Derick Cox after the season opener, when they wouldn’t have to give him a salary guarantee for the entire season.
Hensley also believes that the most surprising cut was A.Q. Shipley, not John Simon. Shipley made nine starts last season at guard while Kelechi Osemele was injured, and is tough and experienced though not athletic. Simon was a surprise because he was a fourth round pick just a year ago, and appeared to be progressing. Simon was just facing tremendous odds against what is a stocked position at linebacker.
The moves made by the Ravens Saturday were also an indication of how much they value their talented special teams unit, as the team kept all five of their top tacklers from last season: Albert McClellan, Anthony Levine, Chykie Brown, Jeromy Miles, and Brynden Trawick.
The Ravens can still move a couple of players to the practice squad, namely undrafted rookies James Hurst and Zachary Orr. This would allow them to sign a couple of cut players from other teams, a move that is almost certain to happen. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the team sign at least one offensive lineman, corner, and defensive lineman.