Baltimore Ravens: Time To Part Ways With Courtney Upshaw
The Baltimore Ravens don’t have much cap space this offseason. With every cent adding up quickly Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta are charged with the task of wise spending. This should mean bad news for outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw.
Upshaw was drafted in the second round with the 35th overall pick in 2012. He has had his ups and downs but the Ravens never got what they were hoping for in Upshaw. In four season he has 183 tackles and 10 sacks.
Upshaw became a situational football player. On running downs he would be in the game. Lacking the skills to be a feared pass rusher he had one job. He had to be a dominant run stuffer who set the edge of the defense. Even at this he did an average job.
Upshaw has struggled with his playing weight. When you’re a professional athlete your body is your business. Struggling with weight is something many people can relate to, but playing in the NFL is not. Upshaw too often seemed to bulky and out of shape entering a football season.
To be fair, Terrell Suggs had the same issue earlier in his career. Suggs however took care of the problem and became better than ever. Upshaw allows this to be a reoccurring problem. His real problem is a lack of discipline. This showed in the Ravens final win of the season. Playing against the Steelers, Jimmy Smith’s touchdown scoring interception return was taken back because Upshaw lined up in the neutral zone. The Steelers scored on the next play, making the game tighter than it had to be.
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Upshaw is an unrestricted free agent. With the Ravens wanting to retain Kelechi Osemele and Justin Tucker and little cap space to do it, don’t expect Upshaw to be a priority. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens don’t try very hard to retain him either. If the Ravens let a player like Torrey Smith go, they aren’t gonna have many qualms about letting Upshaw test the open market.