Ravens don't take pass on wide receivers

They keep 6 on roster as 17 players cut

snapper Maese, T. Smith let go

Pro Football

September 04, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

If yesterday's final cutdown was any indication, the Ravens are dedicated to the passing game.

In releasing 17 players to get down to the mandated 53-man roster, the Ravens kept six receivers as former third-round pick Devard Darling narrowly survived.

That large of a group (Derrick Mason, Clarence Moore, Mark Clayton, Randy Hymes, Patrick Johnson and Darling) was a mild surprise considering that the Ravens carried four receivers for much of last season.

Darling, limited in the preseason finale with a leg injury, took one of the last six spots.

"I like the balance of the talent that we have," coach Brian Billick said. "It presents us offensively and defensively a lot of options to do the things that we want to do."

Other key issues resolved were:

Matt Katula, a rookie from Wisconsin, won the long-snapper job from five-year veteran Joe Maese. In addition to a subpar preseason by Maese, the Ravens saved $310,000 by going with the younger specialist.

Justin Green, a fifth-round pick, beat out Tellis Redmon for the fifth running back spot because he was more versatile and was a bigger presence on special teams.

Guard-center Jason Brown, a fourth-round pick, took the ninth and final offensive lineman slot.

Hard-hitting safety B.J. Ward earned the eighth defensive back spot, beating out Zach Norton, Jamaine Winborne and Calvin Carlyle.

Third-string quarterback Derek Anderson avoided the practice squad by throwing two touchdown passes in the last preseason game.

The other cuts were: kickoff specialist Wade Richey, offensive tackle Dante Ellington, cornerbacks Bill Alford and Mark Estelle, guard Phil Hawkins, running back Alex Haynes, safety Chris Kelley (Maryland), linebackers Matt Sinclair and Mike Smith (seventh-round pick), tight end Trent Smith (2003 seventh-round pick), center Thatcher Szalay and defensive tackle Matt Zielinski.

It is believed the release of Richey was an administrative move. Veterans who are on the opening day roster receive their entire salary for that season even if they're later cut. So if they re-sign him in the second week, the Ravens are not obligated to pay his $665,000 salary for the entire season.

In total, the Ravens have brought back 39 players from last year's team.

"Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, we have let some pretty good players go," Billick said. "The good news side of that is that we think we have some players that are here that are better."

Meanwhile, Billick said he hasn't talked to Jamal Lewis about the running back's dissatisfaction over contract negotiations.

Lewis, who is in the final year of his deal, indicated Friday that the Ravens have yet to send a counterproposal on an extension, saying, "My agent can't even get a telephone call." He added there would be problems if the Ravens kept him from becoming a free agent at the end of the season by using the franchise tag on him.

Billick emphasized that the regular season is not the time to focus on business matters.

"How many times have I stood here in front of you, talking about a player who is under a contract negotiation and then it gets done?" Billick said. "We are in negotiations and have been in negotiations. It never goes as fast as you'd like. Hell, I'd like it to go faster.

"But everybody does what they need to do, and for Jamal, for me, for this team, you hold that at arm's length. You let it take its due course. Our history speaks for itself."

NOTES: Although Adam Terry (left ankle sprain) did not practice yesterday, Billick indicated that the backup offensive tackle is not expected to miss much time. ... Another concern for the Ravens was the two drops by Moore in the preseason finale. "It's not something we had seen for a while," Billick said. "The two weeks of practice he had were flawless against a pretty good secondary. We're no more disappointed than he is, and we expect him to not do that when we get into the regular season. We have very high expectations for Clarence." ... The Ravens are off the next two days before returning to practice Tuesday.

Ravens roster

Coach: Brian Billick

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Exp.

2 Anthony Wright QB 6-1 215 7

3 Matt Stover K 5-11 178 16

7 Kyle Boller QB 6-3 220 3

11 Patrick Johnson WR 5-10 196 7

14 Derek Anderson QB 6-6 245 R

15 Dave Zastudil P 6-3 215 4

20 Ed Reed S 5-11 200 4

21 Chris McAlister CB 6-1 206 7

22 Samari Rolle CB 6-0 175 8

24 Dale Carter CB 6-1 194 12

29 Chester Taylor RB 5-11 213 4

31 Jamal Lewis RB 5-11 245 6

33 Justin Green FB 5-11 251 R

34 Ovie Mughelli FB 6-1 255 3

36 B.J. Sams RB 5-10 185 2

37 Deion Sanders CB 6-1 198 14

39 Alan Ricard FB 5-11 237 5

46 B.J. Ward S 6-3 208 R

47 Will Demps S 6-0 205 4

49 Chad Williams S 5-9 207 4

50 Tommy Polley LB 6-3 230 5

52 Ray Lewis LB 6-1 245 10

54 Roderick Green LB 6-2 245 2

55 Terrell Suggs LB-DE 6-3 260 3

56 Jim Nelson LB 6-1 230 7

57 Bart Scott LB 6-2 240 4

58 Peter Boulware LB 6-4 255 9

60 Jason Brown G/C 6-3 320 R

62 Mike Flynn C 6-3 305 8

64 Edwin Mulitalo G 6-3 345 7

68 Keydrick Vincent G 6-5 325 5

69 Brian Rimpf G 6-5 319 2

70 Matt Katula LS 6-6 272 R

75 Jonathan Ogden OT 6-9 345 10

77 Orlando Brown OT 6-7 360 10

78 Adam Terry OT 6-8 330 R

79 Tony Pashos OT 6-6 320 3

80 Randy Hymes WR 6-3 211 4

81 Devard Darling WR 6-1 215 2

82 Terry Jones TE 6-3 260 4

83 Daniel Wilcox TE 6-1 245 3

84 Clarence Moore WR 6-6 220 2

85 Derrick Mason WR 5-10 192 9

86 Todd Heap TE 6-5 252 5

87 Darnell Dinkins TE 6-2 255 4

89 Mark Clayton WR 5-10 195 R

91 Aubrayo Franklin DT 6-1 320 3

92 Maake Kemoeatu DT 6-5 350 4

93 Dwan Edwards DT 6-3 315 2

95 Jarret Johnson DE 6-3 285 3

96 Adalius Thomas LB 6-2 270 6

97 Kelly Gregg DT 6-0 310 6

98 Tony Weaver DE 6-3 280 4

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at Ravens in season opener

When: Next Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13, ESPN/1300 AM, 102.7 FM

Line: Colts by 3

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