Greisen released after 2 seasons

Linebacker speed sought

Flacco's base pay jumps

Ravens

March 13, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

The Ravens released backup inside linebacker Nick Greisen after two seasons.

Greisen, 29, made just five tackles on defense last season, 33 fewer than the season before. He finished fifth on the team with 12 special teams tackles last season.

His release comes one year after he signed a three-year, $4 million contract with the Ravens (which included a $1 million signing bonus). The Ravens saved $716,000 in salary cap space and now have a little over $2 million in cap room.

Under new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, the Ravens are looking to add speed at linebacker. With Greisen gone, the Ravens still have four inside linebackers: Ray Lewis, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain.

Notes: : Joe Flacco's base salary for the 2009 season increased from $385,000 to $1.5 million. The first-year starting quarterback reached a playing-time incentive in his contract - he participated in more than 80 percent of the Ravens' offensive snaps - which gives him an extra $750,000 in each of the four remaining years of his contract. Flacco also earned $200,000 for each of the two playoff victories. ... According to the Ravens' Web site, running back Willis McGahee has switched his number from No. 23 to the No. 21 he wore with the Buffalo Bills. Cornerback Chris McAlister, who was released last month, previously had No. 21.

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