The Baltimore Ravens needed to improve their defensive backfield and the team did just that, signing former Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson as soon as NFL free agency began on Thursday afternoon.
But with Jefferson headed to town to join Eric Weddle, one current Raven would be the odd man out. That man is safety Lardarius Webb, who the team released on Friday morning.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report.
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The 31-year-old converted safety was selected by the Ravens in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Nicholls State (FCS). Webb was featured heavily in the return game, and excelled at cornerback thanks to his top-end speed. In 2012, Webb signed a six-year extension with the Ravens worth $50 million, with $20 million guaranteed.
But four years later, the team switched him to safety, and as the miles have added up on the odometer, Webb has become somewhat expendable. In releasing Webb, the Ravens open up $5.5 million in cap space, which will allow the team to be flexible in signing more free agents or making sure they can ink their top players to new deals.
The 2017 NFL Draft is heavy on defensive backs, which played a large role in the decision to release Webb, as the Ravens continue to get younger and build for the future.
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On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.
The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School.
In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.
17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon.
Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.
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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.
“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.
The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.
Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.
The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.
This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.
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