Ravens cut Perriman, keep Griffin to form initial 53-man roster

September 01, 2018 | Luke Jones

The Ravens parted ways with a former first-round pick while keeping another back from the football wilderness a year ago to shape their initial 53-man roster for the 2018 season.

Disappointing 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman headlined a list of 18 cuts on Saturday, officially bringing an end to his time in Baltimore. Perriman led the Ravens in receptions and receiving yards this preseason, the first healthy summer of his career, but the 24-year-old was no better than fifth on the receiver depth chart and hadn’t logged a single special-teams play in the preseason. Those realities made him expendable as he entered the final year of his rookie contract.

Perriman will go down as arguably the worst first-round pick in team history as he recorded just 43 catches for 576 yards and three touchdowns in 27 career games. He is the only first-round selection in franchise history not to play out his entire rookie contract.

On the flip side, former first-round quarterback Robert Griffin III completed his NFL comeback by making the 53-man roster as a backup to veteran starter Joe Flacco and a mentor to rookie first-rounder Lamar Jackson. The former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2012 Pro Bowl quarterback was out of the league last year following mounting injuries and poor play with Washington and Cleveland, but his 87.8 passer rating in four preseason games apparently sparked Baltimore to enter the regular season with three quarterbacks for the first time since 2009.

It’s worth noting, however, that Griffin continues to draw trade interest from other teams, according to Sports Illustrated.

In a scary development, the Ravens placed rookie kicker and punter Kaare Vedvik on the reserve non-football injury list after he sustained head and upper-body injuries in an early Saturday incident the Baltimore Police Department is still investigating. Vedvik had been drawing interest from other teams with the Ravens being set in the kicking department with former Pro Bowl selections Justin Tucker and Sam Koch. His injuries are not life-threatening, according to Baltimore Police.

Other notable cuts on Saturday included longtime special-teams standout and reserve linebacker Albert McClellan, 2017 fourth-round guard Nico Siragusa, former third-round defensive linemen Carl Davis and Bronson Kaufusi, and reserve tight ends Darren Waller and Vince Mayle. McClellan had been one of the longest-tenured members of the organization and appeared in 90 games from 2011-16 before suffering a season-ending knee injury last summer. The versatile Davis started nine games last season, but he and Kaufusi were the victims of deep numbers along the defensive line.

Siragusa has been slow to recover from a serious knee injury suffered early in his first training camp last summer and could be a candidate for the practice squad if he clears waivers.

In addition to keeping all 12 members of their 2018 draft class in the organization — three were placed on injured reserve earlier this week — the Ravens have extended their streak of keeping at least one rookie free agent on the 53-man roster to 15 years. Return specialist and wide receiver Janarion Grant, linebacker Chris Board, and cornerback Darious Williams all made the active roster on Saturday. Grant made it over fellow return specialist and wide receiver Tim White, who was waived after spending the 2017 season on IR.

The Ravens also cut the following players on Saturday afternoon: offensive linemen Randin Crecelius, Cameron Lee, and Maurquice Shakir; running backs Gus Edwards, Mark Thompson, De’Lance Turner, and Christopher Ezeala, defensive end Myles Humphrey, wide receiver Andre Levrone, and quarterback Josh Woodrum.