Why the Ravens made the decision to release OL Tyre Phillips

Ravens, Tyre Phillips (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Tyre Phillips (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens made the somewhat surprising decision to release offensive lineman Tyre Phillips on Wednesday, bringing a premature end to his two-year stint in Baltimore.

Phillips was the Ravens’ Week 1 starter at left guard a year ago and entered this summer in competition for the starting job again. At one point, he even appeared to be the favorite.

Ultimately, Phillips was beaten out by Ben Powers for the starting job — a player who had been the subject of his own trade rumors this summer.

But it wasn’t Powers who was traded. Instead, the Ravens attempted to trade Phillips, and after finding no takers, they simply cut ties with their former third-round pick.

Why though? What led to the decision to release a player who seemed like he could have a long-term future in Baltimore not too long ago?

The Ravens’ decision to release Tyre Phillips shouldn’t come as a huge surprise

The Ravens knew that Phillips was a bit of a project coming out of college. The original plan was for the former Mississippi State standout to play tackle in the NFL, but injuries along the offensive line forced him to move around.

He played right tackle, left guard, and right guard in his two years with the Ravens, never really finding a home at any spot. That constant switching certainly didn’t aid his development.

In an ideal world, the Ravens would have allowed Phillips to develop at one position, affording him the opportunity to get comfortable at a spot on the offensive line as opposed to moving around.

Unfortunately, his versatility worked against him in this case.

It became apparent over time that Phillips probably had and still does have more of a future in the NFL as a guard, but that didn’t stop the Ravens from playing him predominantly at right tackle last season out of necessity.

His team didn’t do him any favors, but Phillips himself can’t be without blame either. The Ravens loved Phillips’ upside, but his overall inconsistency is what held him back from ever becoming an established starter.

It’s why he lost his starting job to Powers this summer. The Ravens see Powers as the higher-floor player while Phillips is more of an upside-based talent. The team didn’t need two upside guys and they already had Ben Cleveland to satisfy that role.

Phillips became expendable, especially given how much depth the Ravens have built upon along their offensive line. The team hoped to stash him on the practice squad, but they didn’t believe his play warranted a spot on the 53-man roster.

Next. 4 most surprising moves the Ravens made as part of final roster cuts. dark

Ultimately, the constant shuffling around negatively impacted Tyre Phillips’ development and he never became the consistent player the Ravens hoped he would become. That’s why the team made the decision to release him this week.

In reality, it shouldn’t have come as that much of a surprise.