Why the Ravens decided to move on from former DC Wink Martindale

Justin Fried
Ravens, Wink Martindale Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Wink Martindale Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Baltimore Ravens made the very surprising decision to cut ties with now-former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on Friday evening.

It was a move that caught everyone off guard, but in the hours since the announcement, more details have emerged that suggest why the Ravens decided to make the change they did.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported shortly after the announcement that Martindale’s departure was more of a mutual decision than one based on performance.

Martindale, who was entering the final year of his contract, reportedly received interest from other teams who had inquired about his availability.

The Ravens opted not to extend his contract, and rather than enter the 2022 season with him as a “lame-duck” coach, the two sides agreed to move on a year early.

In essence, that’s why Martindale is gone from Baltimore.

The Ravens and Wink Martindale mutually parted ways

This decision allows Martindale to seek new employment opportunities rather than be stuck in Baltimore for what would seemingly be his final season. Meanwhile, the Ravens don’t have to wait a year to search for his heir apparent.

Breer suggested that there was “no animosity” between the two sides and that the split was as mutual as could be. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reported that “philosophical differences” were the reason the Ravens weren’t looking to extend Martindale.

While many will look to point fingers at a specific side, it truly does seem like this was a decision both parties made. The Ravens were looking for something new at defensive coordinator while Martindale was searching for new opportunities.

It’s highly likely that Martindale, who is well-respected around the league, will get another defensive coordinator job before long with the potential to continue pursuing his goal to be a head coach one day.

Meanwhile, the Ravens could opt to promote internally to replace Martindale with coaches like Chris Hewitt, Anthony Weaver, and Drew Wilkins making the most sense, or turn toward familiar friends in Mike Macdonald or Joe Cullen.

Next. 6 realistic coaches the Ravens could hire to replace Wink Martindale. dark

Both Wink Martindale and the Ravens have their options. At the end of the day, it seems as though it was just time for a change.

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