The Ravens have waived defensive back/special teams ace Justin Bethel, a move that gives Baltimore a likely fourth-round compensatory pick in next year’s draft.
Bethel had a team-leading six special teams tackles this season and was one of the Ravens’ best players on special teams after being signed as a free agent in March.
However, when the Tennessee Titans cut former Ravens defensive end Brent Urban over the weekend, it took away the fourth-round compensatory pick the Ravens were set to acquire for losing wide receiver John Brown during free agency.
If players signed the previous offseason are released by Week 10, they don't count against the compensatory formula. Head Coach John Harbaugh called it a "funky" rule.
“Judgment has to be made for the future as well,” Harbaugh said. “That’s tough for us because, I told him, I think he’s the best special teams player in the NFL, and he’s playing that way. So that’s going to be a blow, and we’re going to have to find a way to overcome that.”
The Ravens also signed two players in recent weeks who have special teams experience, linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort. Once Patrick Onwuasor (ankle) returns to the field, it will keep all three fresher to help on special teams.
The 29-year-old Bethel played for the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons before signing with the Ravens in March. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler as a specialist and signed a two-year deal.
In another roster move, the Ravens cut defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter from the practice squad.