Offensive lineman James Hurst has been released, the Ravens announced Monday.
The 28-year-old Hurst had been suspended the first four games of next season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances. His release reportedly opens up $2.8 million in cap savings.
Hurst had been with the Ravens for six seasons and played a key role as a versatile backup and occasional starter who could play any position on the offensive line except center. Last season, Hurst was active for all 16 games and started two games at left tackle.
An undrafted free agent from North Carolina, Hurst played 90 games and started 44 for the Ravens. Hurst was the starting left guard for the entire 2017 season, and he started for part of the 2018 season before he was replaced by rookie right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. who became a Pro Bowler in his second season.
With last week's retirement of Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, the Ravens are expected to address their offensive line depth this offseason. The Ravens have a history of finding quality offensive linemen on the second and third day of the draft, and they may also explore adding an offensive lineman via free agency or trade. Baltimore brought back veteran offensive tackle Andre Smith on a one-year deal about a month ago.
The Ravens also placed a tender on restricted free agent center Matt Skura, along with exclusive rights free agent running back Gus Edwards.