Tough to Say Goodbye?: 10 Notable Recent Ravens Departures
No. 10: Cary Williams, Eagles
For four seasons in Baltimore, from 2009-2012, Williams was a reliable special teams contributor and, beginning in 2011, a starting corner. His last year in Baltimore was his strongest, as he tied for the team lead with four interceptions and, as Ravens fans fondly remember, recorded two more in the playoffs during their run to the Super Bowl. Williams signed with Philadelphia before last season, starting all 16 games and picking off three passes for the Eagles.
No. 9: Dannell Ellerbe, Dolphins
Much like Williams, Ellerbe played from 2009-2012, but didn't make a big contribution until his final year in Baltimore. In 13 games during the 2012 season, the linebacker recorded 70 tackles and had 4.5 sacks, and went along to intercept Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game victory over the Patriots. Ellerbe parlayed his good season into a lucrative five-year deal with the Dolphins where he started 15 games last year, making over 100 tackles to go along with two interceptions.
No. 8: Arthur Jones, Colts
After being drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 draft out of Syracuse, Arthur Jones saw his production increase every year he wore a Ravens uniform. After only playing a total of 16 games in his first two seasons, Jones played 30 and started 19 in 2012 and 2013, and sacked opposing quarterbacks 8.5 times over that two-year span. The Ravens would have loved to keep the young defensive lineman, but Indianapolis swooped in and offered him a five-year contract this offseason, and now the 28-year-old Jones will play out his prime as a Colt.
No. 7: Ed Dickson, Panthers
Ed Dickson was a third-round pick out of Oregon, and seemed to be the total package at tight end. With size and a sub-4.6 40-yard dash, Dickson had the potential to be a lethal weapon in the passing game, and after a 2011 sophomore campaign that saw him catch 54 passes and five touchdowns, he looked ready to establish himself as a top-tier tight end. However, things simply didn't work out, as he only caught 46 balls over the next two years combined. The Ravens decided to re-sign Dennis Pitta and drop Dickson, who is now hoping to play up to his potential in Carolina.
No. 6: Corey Graham, Bills
Following four seasons in Chicago, Corey Graham signed with the Ravens before the 2012 season, looking to see more playing time at cornerback than he did in his previous stop with the Bears. Graham indeed capitalized on his increased action; he snagged six regular-season picks, had 20 pass breakups, and forced two fumbles in 2012 and 2013. In addition, the cornerback will always have a place in Ravens fans hearts after his spectacular performance in the 2012 Divisional Round playoff game against the Broncos, where he intercepted two Peyton Manning passes, taking one back for a touchdown. In the offseason, Graham left the Ravens to join the Bills, inking a four-year deal.
No. 5: Paul Kruger, Browns
Along with Arthur Jones and Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger came up big for the Ravens defense in 2012. After only starting one game from 2009-2011, Kruger started six times and played in all but one game during Baltimore's title season, notching nine sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble, plus two crucial sacks in the Super Bowl. It was a big jump in production for the Utah linebacker, and one of Baltimore's division rivals took notice. Kruger signed a massive five-year deal with the Browns last offseason, but he saw his sack numbers cut in half in his first year in Cleveland.
No. 4: Willis McGahee, Broncos/Browns
Willis McGahee was a vital member of the Ravens backfield from 2007-2010, whether it be in the role as the team's feature back, goal line finisher, or valued member of a running back committee. McGahee put up big numbers in his first year with the club, tallying over 1,200 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. The Miami running back never failed to record less than six total touchdowns in the purple and black, and had a career-high 14 total in 2009. McGahee signed a four year deal with the Broncos before the 2011 season, but was respected for his toughness and big-time production during his years in Baltimore.
No. 3: Bart Scott, Jets
After being signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Illinois, Bart Scott became a beloved member of the Ravens linebacking corps and formed a vicious tandem with Ray Lewis for seven memorable seasons. Scott played in all but three games during his Baltimore career, and had his best season in 2006, being named an All-Pro and going to his only Pro Bowl. He was renowned for being a tackling machine and a relentless competitor, yet opted to sign with the Jets in 2009 and join head coach Rex Ryan, whom Scott loved playing for. He suited up for four more years before retiring in 2013.
No. 2: Anquan Boldin, 49ers
Anquan Boldin was acquired by the Ravens in a 2010 trade in a move that was done to bolster the Baltimore receiving corps. Boldin delivered in his three years in Baltimore, and was arguably the team's best player during the 2012 playoffs, catching four touchdowns and making clutch catches throughout the postseason. Boldin is the only player on the list who was not released by Baltimore and signed with another team. He was traded to the 49ers, a move that was a tough pill to swallow for Ravens fans, for a sixth-round draft pick in March of 2013. He had a fantastic season last year, catching 85 passes.
No. 1: Ed Reed, Texans/Jets
One of the NFL's best safeties to ever play the game, Ed Reed's stellar 11-year career in Baltimore features plenty of impressive numbers: nine-time Pro Bowler, eight time All-Pro, 2004 Defensive Player of the Year, three-time NFL interceptions leader, seven defensive touchdowns, and an All-Decade team selection for the 2000s. Reed was everything you could ask for from a safety. He could play in the box, deliver destructive hits, and cover any intermediate or deep pass route. Ravens fans would have loved for Reed to retire with Lewis and cap off a magical career as a Raven for life, but he decided to play in the 2013 season with the Texans and Jets, and is now looking to sign with a team for the upcoming 2014 season.