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Eisenberg: Winners And Losers Of Ravens Roster Cuts


The Ravens made their cuts, finagled their roster and reached the NFL's mandated 53-man limit Saturday, and as always, the process generated winners and losers.

On the defensive line, Christo Bilukidi and Kapron Lewis-Moore made it ahead of DeAngelo Tyson, who was waived. It's a huge triumph for Lewis-Moore, who sat out both the 2013 and 2014 seasons because of injuries. For Tyson, a former seventh-round pick who was part of the Ravens' Super Bowl triumph, it's a tough day.

On the offensive line, Ryan Jensen made it as a backup ahead of Jah Reid, a veteran, and Robert Myers, a 2015 fifth-round draft pick, both of whom were waived.

Rookie wide receiver Darren Waller's intriguing size and potential gave him the win over Jeremy Butler in their battle for the last roster spot at their position.

Nick Easton, an undrafted free agent center, didn't make the Ravens' roster, but he'll never forget his rookie cutdown day. The San Francisco 49ers acquired him from the Ravens in a trade, sending an undisclosed draft pick to Baltimore.

Asa Jackson's penchant for fumbling negated the big-play potential he exhibited as a returner, costing him a roster spot. He may well have had the team made when he returned a punt 53 yards early in Thursday night's preseason finale, but a second-half fumble reversed his fortunes.

I'm guessing wide receiver Michael Campanaro will be the primary punt returner when the Ravens open the regular season in Denver next Sunday. As for who is the primary kickoff returner, well, stay tuned.

For Arthur Brown, a third-year linebacker deemed on the roster bubble, the news was good Saturday. For Cassius Vaughn, a veteran cornerback signed as insurance, the news wasn't good.

Of course, one of the biggest misnomers in football is this is the Ravens' "final" 53-man roster. Hardly. Someone should take a picture of it, quick, because this version of the roster is going to last about as long as the grill's flames at your Labor Day cookout.

This 53-man roster almost surely will be altered by the time the team practices again.

If the past is any indication, while Newsome does what it takes to hit Saturday's deadline, he barely taps the brakes in his continuing efforts to shape the roster. 

The moves keep on coming.

A handful of those who didn't make it Saturday will walk back into the Under Armour Performance Center this week after the Ravens fill out their 10-man practice squad Sunday. I'm guessing Myers, quarterback Bryn Renner, safety Nick Perry and receiver Daniel Brown will be among those who make it, unless other teams claim them on waivers.

And even exempting practice squad additions, Newsome and the Ravens keep maneuvering after hitting the 53-man deadline. A year ago, in the week between the deadline and their season opener, the Ravens waived a player who had survived the cut to 53 (linebacker Josh Bynes), signed another player they had waived earlier (cornerback Derrek Cox), re-signed Bynes to the practice squad, waived Cox for a second time and elevated another player (running back Fitzgerald Toussaint) from the practice squad to the roster. Got all that?

The same kind of finagling could unfold this year because the team elected to put defensive end Brent Urban on the short-term injured reserve list, leaving open the possibility of his return later this year. Urban had to be on Saturday's 53-man list to be eligible for short-term IR, but once he goes on IR, possibly as soon as Sunday, another roster spot will open up.

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Ravens use that spot to add a running back. As things stand now, they only have two healthy backs after cutting Toussaint and rookie Terrence Magee Saturday. Justin Forsett is the starter, but with Lorenzo Taliaferro recovering from a knee injury, rookie Buck Allen is the only backup, and he averaged just 2.5 yards per carry in the preseason. A proven veteran could help carry the load until Taliaferro returns.

I'm sure Newsome is scouring the long list of players who are suddenly available after being waived by their teams Saturday. Those who were on the Ravens' bubble and survived should feel good, but the reality is the comings and goings never stop, despite the presence of a roster deadline.

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