OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens parted ways with return specialist Asa Jackson to headline a list of 17 moves that trimmed their 2015 roster to the 53-man limit on Saturday.
The fourth-year cornerback led the NFL by averaging 49.0 yards per kickoff return in the preseason, but fumbles in each of the last two games quickly forced the Ravens to move in a different direction. The 2012 fifth-round pick also failed to establish himself in the secondary, leaving his roster standing too vulnerable.
Two other notable veterans cut on Saturday were offensive lineman Jah Reid and defensive end DeAngelo Tyson. Long considered a bust as a former third-round pick, Reid was signed to a one-year contract in the offseason and had been competing as a backup. Tyson, a 2012 seventh-round choice, served as a member of the defensive line rotation over the last three seasons, but the Ravens instead kept Kapron Lewis-Moore and Christo Bilukidi as reserves.
The Ravens cut rookie fifth-round guard Robert Myers, who struggled over the summer and became the highest Baltimore draft pick to be cut at the end of his first preseason since 2009 fifth-round tight end Davon Drew. Baltimore kept only three reserves — John Urschel, James Hurst, and Ryan Jensen — behind its starting offensive line.
Despite having only two healthy running backs on their initial 53-man roster, the Ravens cut both Fitz Toussaint and rookie free agent Terrence Magee on Saturday. With rookie fourth-rounder Buck Allen struggling in the preseason, the Ravens could explore adding a veteran reserve behind 2014 Pro Bowl selection Justin Forsett as Lorenzo Taliaferro continues to recover from a knee injury.
After much discussion about him being on the roster bubble, third-year inside linebacker Arthur Brown made the 53-man roster along with special-team standouts Albert McClellan and Zach Orr.
A day after waiving Daniel Brown and Tom Nelson, Baltimore cut second-year receiver Jeremy Butler. who was a standout performer during spring workouts before a quiet summer.
Butler, 24, spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. The 6-foot-2 Tennessee-Martin product likely remains a candidate for the practice squad, especially with rookie Breshad Perriman still recovering from a knee injury. The Ravens now have six receivers on the active roster: Perriman, Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, and Darren Waller.
As expected, the Ravens kept defensive end Brent Urban on their initial 53-man roster, leaving him eligible to be placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after he suffered a torn biceps last month. Baltimore can move him to I.R. as soon as Sunday, which would open another roster spot.
Rookie outside linebacker Zach Thompson was placed on I.R. after sustaining a concussion in Thursday’s preseason finale.
The Ravens began the day by trading rookie free agent center Nick Easton to San Francisco for an unspecified draft pick.
Below are all of the moves made on Saturday:
LB Brennen Beyer
WR Jeremy Butler
CB Asa Jackson
G Kaleb Johnson
RB Terrence Magee
G Robert Myers
S Nick Perry
QB Bryn Renner
TE Konrad Reuland
FB Kiero Small
RB Fitz Toussaint
DT Micajah Reynolds
DE DeAngelo Tyson
LB Zach Thompson
Terminated contracts as vested veterans
OL Jah Reid
CB Cassius Vaughn
Traded to San Francisco for 2016 conditional pick
C Nick Easton