The Ravens officially announced the release of safety Bernard Pollard Thursday.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome talked about the move to let go of Baltimore's leading tackler from last season.
"There are many difficult decisions we make every offseason," Newsome said. "They become even more difficult when they involve players who helped us get another Super Bowl trophy."
Pollard was a two-year starter in Baltimore who forged a reputation as a big hitter in the back end. He led the team with 98 tackles last year, including two sacks, and one interception.
Baltimore originally signed Pollard in early August after the lockout in 2011. They gave him a three-year contract extension last offseason.
"We needed to find a physical presence for our secondary when we lost Dawan Landry a few years ago, and we were fortunate to land a player like Bernard," Newsome said. "He was everything we hoped he would be: physical, tough and well-prepared.
"Bernard takes great pride in being ready to play – and he does that year round. He was a good partner with Ed [Reed] on our backside, and he fit in well with our team. Like we say, 'He played like a Raven.'"
Pollard played through broken ribs for the majority of the season and said he re-broke all six during Super Bowl XLVII. The outspoken safety also made nine tackles in the AFC championship and forced a key fumble with a knockout hit on Patriots running back Stevan Ridley.
"He helped us get to an AFC championship and win a Super Bowl, and we thank him for all he did for us," Newsome said.