Two former first-round draft picks were among the players released Friday by the Ravens.
Wide receiver Michael Floyd and pass rusher Shane Ray were terminated, as the Ravens made roster cuts prior to Saturday’s 4 p.m. 53-player deadline.
Floyd made a strong push over the past two weeks, but he did not play in Thursday night’s preseason finale. The Ravens are not expected to keep more than six wide receivers, and Seth Roberts and Jaleel Scott are the most likely candidates to stay should the Ravens keep six. Willie Snead IV, Chris Moore, and rookies Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin are considered roster locks at wide receiver.
A college star at Notre Dame, Floyd was drafted 13th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2012 and hoped to get his career back on track in Baltimore after playing for four different teams over the past three seasons. However, Scott is five years younger than the 29-year-old Floyd, and Scott likely clinched his roster spot Thursday night with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins.
The Ravens were shopping for pass rushers this offseason after losing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith in free agency, but Ray never built momentum after being signed as a free agent in May.
A former Denver Broncos first-round pick (23rd overall) in 2015, Ray had eight sacks in 2016, but his career was derailed after suffering a serious wrist injury that required multiple surgeries. Ray declared himself healthy when he joined the Ravens, but he registered just two tackles and ½ sack during preseason action.
The Ravens have at least five other outside linebackers ahead of Ray on the depth chart – Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams and rookie Jaylon Ferguson.
Other players released Friday were quarterback Joe Callahan, kicker Elliott Fry, wide receivers Joe Horn Jr. and Jaylen Smith, long snapper Matt Orzech, linebacker Silas Stewart, and offensive linemen Patrick Vahe, Darrell Williams and Isaiah Williams.
The Ravens still have some difficult roster decisions to make with players on the bubble, a list that includes running back Kenneth Dixon, quarterback Trace McSorley, offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Greg Senat, inside linebacker Otaro Alaka, and defensive backs Maurice Canady and Brynden Trawick. Head Coach John Harbaugh said after Thursday night’s game that the final decisions on the roster would be difficult.
“I certainly feel we have more candidates for spots than we have spots; there’s no question about that being our challenge,” Harbaugh said. “It’ll come down to what’s best for the team and the big picture.”