2. Tavon Young, CB, Ravens
The decision to release Tavon Young this offseason was purely a financial one, as the veteran cornerback finally put together a healthy and productive season.
It was the first time that Young had played every one of his team’s games since his rookie season in 2016 and the first time he had played more than two games in a season since 2018.
Yet, despite this, the Ravens opted to cut ties with Young in a move that saved nearly $6 million in cap space. That additional cap space allowed the Ravens to have the flexibility they did in free agency.
The Ravens will be forced to turn to some of the more versatile defensive backs on their roster in hopes of replacing Young, but his release accomplished what it was supposed to. Baltimore created much-needed cap space.
1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Ravens
The Ravens signed Sammy Watkins to a one-year, $6 million contract last offseason in the hope that he could provide a steady and explosive veteran presence to their wide receiver room.
Fans had tempered their expectations for the oft-injured Watkins, but even with those tame predictions, he still fell well short. Watkins just wasn’t good for the Ravens in 2021.
The former top-five pick battled injuries again, appearing in 13 games and finishing with just 27 catches for 394 yards and a touchdown — all of which were new career lows.
The Ravens will lean on their youth at the wide receiver position this season, and even given their lack of depth, it’s fair to say they made the right decision in moving on from Watkins.