Writing was on the wall for veteran guard Vincent

RAVENS CENTRAL

The Kickoff

August 29, 2007|By MIKE PRESTON

The warning signs for guard Keydrick Vincent's departure started in April when the Ravens made Auburn guard Ben Grubbs the top draft pick. Then, shortly before training camp began, the Ravens told Vincent, 29, that second-year player Chris Chester would replace him as the starting right guard and that Grubbs would be his backup. The team then moved Vincent to backup left guard, which was pretty much the end.

I respect Vincent because he reported to training camp in great shape after working hard during the offseason because he expected to challenge for the starting position. But the Ravens had other plans. General manager Ozzie Newsome never liked Vincent after his first season here in 2005. He thought Vincent was soft, and Vincent didn't help himself by missing substantial playing time because of injuries. Vincent also never seemed to fit in with this team. There were some who thought he joked around too much and didn't take the game seriously. I never saw that. I just saw a guy who had limited ability but played as hard as he could.

But he was unhappy here, and he needed a new start. It would have been easier for him if the Ravens had cut him before training camp so he had time to catch on with another team. According to Newsome, he tried to make a trade for Vincent but could not get a deal in place. Vincent will catch on with another team. He's too young and too talented to be left on the streets. He'll also leave a hole as far as depth because he was just as good as Grubbs at this time in Grubbs' career, but the Ravens saved about $1.2 million in salary by cutting Vincent.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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