The Ravens made another difficult move on Wednesday morning in parting ways with veteran strong safety Bernard Pollard.
The 28-year-old defensive back announced via his official Twitter account that he was being let go after two years in Baltimore. Pollard was owed a $500,000 roster bonus later this week and carried a $3.25 million salary cap number for the 2013 season. His release will save $1 million in cap space.
“Well Raven Nation it’s been fun,” Pollard wrote. “My time in Baltimore is done… Thank you!”
Pollard was limited to 13 games last year as he dealt with cracked ribs over the course of the season. He finished with 98 tackles, two sacks, and an interception.
Looking with 20-20 hindsight, Baltimore tipped its hand by re-signing veteran backup James Ihedigbo to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Ihedigbo made three starts in place of Pollard last season.
A key free-agent addition after the NFL lockout ended in 2011, Pollard instantly became a fan favorite with his physical style of play, but the safety also drew criticism for his propensity to draw penalties for illegal hits. That said, his punishing — but legal — blow to Patriots running back Stevan Ridley in the AFC championship game was considered the turning point in the Ravens seizing complete control in their 28-13 win to advance to the Super Bowl.