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Ravens begin creating cap space, part ways with Lardarius Webb, Danny Woodhead and Austin Howard

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USA Today Sports

Ravens begin creating cap space, part ways with Lardarius Webb, Danny Woodhead and Austin Howard

The Ravens have begun creating necessary cap space by releasing several impending free agents.

The team announced Monday they would be letting safety Lardarius Webb go after nine seasons with the team. The 32-year old finished 2017 with 39 combined tackles, one forced fumble and two interceptions.

Webb played in all 16 games for the Ravens last season, only starting in one. Releasing Webb freed up $1.75 million of cap space. Over nine seasons, Webb had 467 combined tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, 15 interceptions and one touchdown. Webb took to his twitter to thank Ravens fans.

RELATED: LOOKING AT RAVENS HITTING FREE AGENT MARKET 

On Tuesday, the team announced they would be releasing running back Danny Woodhead after just one season. 

Woodhead missed eight games in 2017 after going down on the first drive of their season opener with a hamstring injury. 

He finished the season with 14 carries for 56 yards and 33 catches for 200 yards. The Ravens have enough depth at running back in Alex Collins, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon and free agent Terrance West that releasing the 33-year old was needed to create cap space. Per Over the Cap, the team freed up $1.8 million. 

Also on Tuesday, the Ravens declined offensive tackle Austin Howard's option for the 2018 season. In doing so, they freed up $3 million worth of cap space.

Declining Howard's option shouldn't have come as a surprise after the team re-signed left guard James Hurst to a four-year, $17.5 million contract on Monday. 

The Ravens will now have a new starting right tackle for the third straight year. 

RELATED: RAVENS SIGN URBAN TO ONE-YEAR DEAL TO AVOID FREE AGENCY 

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

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USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."

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