Aug 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) catches the ball in front of the defense of Baltimore Ravens defensive back Kyle Arrington (24) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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With limited cap space, the Baltimore Ravens have some decisions to make on some veteran players and their contracts.
The Baltimore Ravens rank in the bottom of the league in salary cap space. But they have a chance to free up a lot of space by cutting players that just aren’t worth their cap number. The Ravens always will make the right moves for the team. But, I give you my opinion on the players they will have to make decisions on to either keep or let them go.
Kyle Arrington: Cut Him.
Arrington is probably going to retire if the Ravens cut him. His long history with concussions are concerning, including one this year that kept him out the entire season. The Ravens probably want to go younger and more skillful at this position.
Sep 25, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) signals a first down during the second quarter of a football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Pitta: Cut Him.
After basically missing two straight seasons, Dennis Pitta bounced back a lot better than I expected. Pitta was a nice surprise though, leading the team in receptions and scoring twice against the Dolphins. But Pitta has the sixth highest cap hit for any tight end. That is significant for a guy with just 2 touchdowns and a team with several tight ends on the roster. The Ravens should probably go younger with up and coming talents like Crockett Gilmore and Darren Waller.
Ben Watson Cut Him:
After a career season in 2015, the Ravens signed Watson in case Pitta couldn’t play. It turned out to be the opposite as Pitta played every game and Watson tore his Achilles in the preseason. At age 36 and a $3 million cap hit, the Ravens should move on from Watson.
Jul 30, 2015; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive back Kendrick Lewis (23) makes a catch during defensive drills of day one of training camp at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Kendrick Lewis: Keep Him.
Kendrick Lewis was a productive starter in his years at the Texans and he played solid for the Ravens in 2015. Injuries cut his season short this season, but he was a back up to Lardarius Webb anyways. However, his cap number isn’t too big for the Ravens to take. If the Ravens cut Webb, they can have Lewis as a insurance player in case they bring in someone younger.
This one tough. Webb has been with the Ravens for a long time and is one of the teams leaders on defense. He was forced by father time to move to safety this past season, and got a lot better as the season went on. The Ravens quality play from the safety positions kept the secondary from being a disaster and Webb was better than expected.
Unfortunately, he is getting older and the Ravens could probably find equal or better pay for a cheaper price. A $7.5 million cap hit is just too significant for his play. If Webb takes a pay cut, you keep him. However, if he is not willing to take a pay cut, then you can move on from him and start looking at the draft or upgrades in free agency.
Sep 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens center Jeremy Zuttah (53) against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Zuttah: Cut Him.
Zuttah is one tough guy and played through various injuries. He plays very hard and to the last whistle, sometimes even past it (See: Dallas Cowboys game). But, his size hinders him and he struggles against bigger nose gaurds. The Ravens claimed they want to get bigger on the offensive line, and cutting Zuttah to either go with John Urschel or draft a center in the middle rounds would do just that.
Shareece Wright: Cut Him.
No-brainer here. Why the Ravens signed him to this deal we will never understand. Shareece is not a terrible corner, but he sure did play like one the latter half of the 2016 season. He failed to step up when Jimmy Smith went out. The Ravens save $2.6 million by cutting him.
Sep 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Elvis Dumervil: Cut Him.
I think Elvis still has something left in the tank. He seemed extremely motivated after the season to come back better than ever. I would love to see him be a Raven for one more year. The decision becomes difficult when you look at his cap hit, though. He is set to make $8.5 million next year, but the Ravens save $6 million by letting him go. That is a really big number that they could use on someone else like Melvin Ingram, or if they plan on signing Brandon Williams back.
Wallace overachieved this year with his first 1,00 yard season since 2011. He still showed he has great speed and a reliable set of hands. And as far as I am concerned, Wallace is the only proven receiver the Ravens have with Steve Smith Sr. retired and Kamar Aiken likely to leave during free agency.