Tavon Young release leaves the Ravens dangerously thin at cornerback

Ravens, Tavon Young (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ravens, Tavon Young (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have officially announced the release of cornerback Tavon Young in a move that will save the team nearly $6 million in cap space.

It was no doubt a difficult decision for the Ravens to move on from the former fourth-round pick, especially after he finally posted a clean bill of health in 2021. However, this hardly comes as a surprise.

Young was set to carry a cap hit of over $9 million into the 2022 season, one of the highest cap hits on the roster. Releasing him comes with a dead cap charge of roughly $3.3 million but frees up $5.8 million in cap space.

That, combined with the news that Alejandro Villanueva was retiring, has saved the Ravens just shy of $12 million in cap space. They’ve more than doubled their total and now sit at around $18 million.

However, the release of Young doesn’t come without consequences. It also leaves the Ravens dangerously thin at cornerback.

The Ravens’ cornerback depth chart is thin with Tavon Young now gone

The Ravens currently have six cornerbacks on their roster with only two of them in line for serious playing time in 2021. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters should return, but behind them the team’s cornerback depth chart is razor-thin.

Kevon Seymour, Iman Marshall, Kevin Toliver, and Robert Jackson hardly inspire confidence. The Ravens didn’t tender restricted free agent Chris Westry as the hope is that they can bring him back at a smaller price.

Other than that, Anthony Averett and Jimmy Smith are both free agents, and it seems unlikely that either returns. Averett has likely priced himself out of a return while Smith just isn’t effective at this stage of his career, although he could be a fallback option provided he doesn’t retire.

Then there’s the case of Tavon Young. The Ravens could still bring Young back on a cheaper deal if both sides reach an agreement. It could be similar to the situation with Westry.

Either way, Young was always unlikely to return on his current (or now former) deal. The Ravens needed to create space and releasing Young presented a golden opportunity to do so.

Expect the Ravens to be heavily involved in the cornerback market in both free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft as they look to bolster their depth.

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Young’s release leaves them desperate for cornerback depth. But at the very least, they now have a bit more financial flexibility this offseason.