Prude among 19 waived

ravens

August 31, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

The Ravens took every precaution with cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, relegating the projected starters to the sideline for the majority of the preseason.

Those moves could prove to be prescient as the team is left with just five cornerbacks for the season opener after waiving Ronnie Prude and placing David Pittman on injured reserve.

In addition to waiving 19 players yesterday - a group that included linebacker Gary Stills and offensive tackle Chad Slaughter - the team announced that cornerback Derrick Martin was suspended one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Martin, who has not practiced in a week because of a right shoulder injury, joins cornerback Fabian Washington, who was suspended one game for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. Both will sit out the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.

Martin, who is eligible to return the day after the game, was cited and charged in July with possession of three small bags of marijuana at the Cleveland airport during a random Transportation Security Administration screening while attempting to board a flight.

Prude was an undrafted rookie in 2006 who made the 53-man roster that year. He was battling Martin and Pittman, who was not reported to be injured after the Ravens' 10-9 preseason loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. Pittman is listed as having played, but he did not record a tackle or pass deflection.

Those moves leave the secondary with just five cornerbacks - McAlister, Rolle, Frank Walker, Corey Ivy and Anwar Phillips - for the season opener.

McAlister has been sidelined by a swollen right knee, and Rolle reported to training camp late because of the death of his father and injured his left leg.

"With the two suspended players, that gives us 52 players on the current roster," general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a written statement. "We will add another player before the opener against the Bengals."

Two cornerbacks who might have interested the Ravens - Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters - were kept by the New York Giants on their 53-man roster.

Running back Cory Ross was placed on injured reserve after spraining his right ankle in the second quarter Thursday night.

Stills, a Pro Bowl selection in 2003, set an NFL record with 44 special teams tackles in 2006 with the Ravens, but the addition of special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo and rookies Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain forced Stills out.

Slaughter was signed July 30 after starting offensive tackles Adam Terry and Jared Gaither suffered ankle sprains. The former Oakland Raider started the first three preseason games at left tackle but was relegated to backup duty when Gaither started against the Falcons.

The organization also released two 2008 seventh-round draft picks in wide receiver Justin Harper and running back Allen Patrick. The other players waived were offensive linemen Adrien Clarke and rookies Joe Reitz and Adam Kraus; defensive linemen Darrell Campbell, Amon Gordon and Lorenzo Williams; wide receivers Matt Willis, Patrick Carter and Ernie Wheelwright; tight ends Adam Bergen and Keith Heinrich; running back Alex Haynes; linebacker Robert McCune; and quarterback Casey Bramlet.

Willis, who played in five games last season and caught five passes for 60 yards in the preseason, said his agent has already talked to a couple of teams.

"It's just a waiting game," he said. "Yeah, you're disappointed. I'm just rolling with the punches, and hopefully something develops."

Bramlet was signed Thursday as Kyle Boller (right shoulder) and Troy Smith (tonsil infection) were unavailable for the preseason finale that night. Bramlet, who backed up rookie Joe Flacco, completed seven of 21 passes for 100 yards, threw two interceptions and finished with a 10.1 passer rating.

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