The Baltimore Ravens trimmed their roster to 53 players today, and now the wait for the Monday night opener with the New York Jets begins in earnest. Heading into training camp there were relatively few positions unsettled for the Ravens, but that does not mean that the final roster moves did not contain some surprises. It started with the trade of Antwan Barnes, announced earlier today, and then continued with the cuts of a few players that seemed like they would be part of the final 53. Most surprising of the cuts were K Shayne Graham, and WR Demetrius Williams.
Graham was signed in the off-season and was thought to have the inside track on the kicking job over journeyman Billy Cundiff. Throughout training camp it was evident that Cundiff had more life left in his leg and he won the job from Graham. Williams, who entered camp as a long shot to make the team, seemed to be a safe bet to avoid being cut when Donte Stallworth broke his foot. Ultimately, the Ravens saw more potential and less baggage in rookie WR David Reed, and they felt the need to keep WR Marcus Smith who can be a valuable contributor on special teams.
The Ravens also announced that offensive lineman Stefan Rodgers, David Hale and Ramon Harewood, and DT Kelly Talavou were placed on IR, ending their seasons. I am sure the Ravens were happy to not have to expose Harewood to waivers as they were encouraged by his raw talent in camp. The Ravens will face a few more roster decisions when Ed Reed and Stallworth are eligible to come off the reserve PUP list. The status of 2ndround draft pick Sergio Kindle is still up in the air. Kindle is reportedly eager to start playing, but little has been divulged about his clearance to resume football related activities. Also, CB Cary Williams does not count against the 53 man roster while he is serving his 2 game suspension. A move will have to be made should the club elect to keep Williams on the active roster.
Overall, I am excited about the make-up of the roster. What changes would you make? What surprised you most about the cuts today?