With a roster move expected Tuesday with the return of corner back Cary Williams, the Ravens announced that they have waived safety Ken Hamlin.
Hamlin, who was signed by the Ravens in June to provide insurance for the safety Ed Reed if he were to be placed on PUP, had a one-year contract in place and was vying for a starting job in case the Ravens had concerns about Tom Zbikowski starting in Reed’s place.
Hamlin was active in both games this year and posted one tackle on special teams during the Ravens 15-10 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.
It was a hard decision for the Ravens to make as a team, said Coach John Harbaugh in a press release.
“We have to do something, but it’s not going to be something we’re going to be happy about doing,” Harbaugh said. “And it will be something that we’ll have to take a view to Sunday on and also a view to the long term on, because we want to hold on to all the good players that we have.”
“Every guy we have right now is a very good player.”
Hamlin, an eighth-year veteran and former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks out of Arkansas, was once the one of the highest paid safeties in the league after signing a six year, 38 million dollar deal with the Cowboys in 2007.
He made his only Pro Bowl in that 2007 season.
Hamlin struggled at times in the preseason, and with fellow safety Haruki Nakamura also coming back healthy from a leg injury, the Ravens felt like they no longer needed Hamlin’s services.
And with corner back Cary Williams returning from his two game suspension laid down by the NFL for violating the NFL’s conduct policy, the Ravens had to make a move to keep the roster at the legal 53-man limit.
The Ravens made moves yesterday on their practice squad, releasing tackle Devin Tyler and DB David Pender from their developmental squad. This morning, the Ravens then added former Oklahoma State tackle Brady Bond to the practice squad.
This left one spot on the practice squad, and with Williams returning, the Ravens could have been trying to leave a spot open to try and send a player from the 53-man roster down on the practice squad.
The expected move would have been to send DT Lamar Divens to the practice squad, but the Ravens would have to expose him to waivers first before trying to send him down.
But with the talent the Ravens have at defensive tackle, Divens would have likely been picked up by an opposing team, and they felt like Hamlin-a player who was available to all 32 NFL teams in June-was more expendable.
The Ravens secondary, which ranks second in the NFL, is now even more crowded at corner, but the Ravens with this move felt like they had enough support behind the starters at safety in Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski, and Williams was worth keeping on the team.
He will step in to provide depth behind starters Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington, and Harbaugh said having too many corners is a problem he wants to have.
“I’ve heard coaches say you can’t have too many corner backs, and it’s probably true. The thing it’s going to give us – and you throw the safeties in the mix… but those guys really give us a lot of flexibility with our packages.”
“So, we’re going to be able to put a lot of defensive backs on the field and run different pressure packages and different coverage packages that are going to be tough for people to identify. So, that will be a plus for us,” Harbaugh said in his press conference on Monday.
Williams grabbed two interceptions in the preseason and showed a lot of promise on special teams as well since the Ravens signed Williams off the Titans practice squad toward the end of the season last year.
Harbaugh said Williams has already been hard at work since he has been allowed to return to the facility and they will work on getting him on the same pace with the rest of the team.
“I think he was out there today, and we’ll get him into meetings and get him back on track,” Harbaugh said. “He went through all the training camp and the whole offseason, so I don’t think it will be too much, but it was good to see his face sitting in the room there.”
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