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Baltimore Ravens cut-down analysis

Most significant move: Keeping four cornerbacks and seven receivers. The Baltimore Ravens cut both veteran cornerbacks they signed this offseason, Derek Cox and Dominique Franks. This could be a sign that the Ravens are confident that Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith will be healthy enough for the regular season opener. The Ravens could re-sign Cox after the season opener when his salary wouldn't be guaranteed for the entire year. Until then, the Ravens are left with Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown as their only backups. It does help the Ravens that two safeties, Terrence Brooks and Anthony Levine, both can play cornerback. Still, it's a gamble. As far as wide receiver, the Ravens kept seven (Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken and Deonte Thompson), which is a different strategy than last year. The Ravens ended the season with just five receivers. Campanaro and Thompson don't provide much impact on special teams except as returners.

Surprise cut: Cutting guard A.Q. Shipley. This was the most unexpected release of the day for the Ravens. Shipley started the last nine games last season after Kelechi Osemele had back surgery. He wasn't the most athletically gifted lineman, but he was tough and experienced. It looked like Shipley was safe because he worked with the second team at guard and filled in for Marshal Yanda with the starters during training camp when the veteran took a day off. By releasing Shipley, the Ravens are left with two backups on the interior with Gino Gradkowski and rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel.

Quick exit: Waiving linebacker John Simon wasn't totally unexpected, but it's not a typical move by the Ravens. Simon was a fourth-round pick from a year ago, and the Ravens usually give their draft picks time to develop. Case in point: Only one other pick drafted in the first four rounds by the Ravens failed to last two seasons with the team and that was safety Christian Thompson, who was cut after he served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. This makes sense because the Ravens are stocked at linebacker, and Simon had trouble making plays in space. Many thought Simon earned a spot by playing his best game last Thursday. Cutting Simon also shows that how little the preseason finale really matters.

What's next: This probably won't be the 53-man roster that the Ravens take into the opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Players like offensive tackle James Hurst and Zachary Orr, two undrafted rookies, could eventually be headed for the practice squad. The Ravens need to find another defensive lineman (they're carrying just five) as well as upgrade at offensive line and cornerback. Someone like veteran guard-center Adam Snyder, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers, would be a good fit for the Ravens. Cornerbacks who are now available include Kelvin Hayden (Bears), Champ Bailey (Saints), Leon McFadden (Browns), and Johnny Patrick (Jets).

Ravens moves: Released two vested veterans, CBs Derek Cox and Dominique Franks. Waived QB Keith Wenning, G A.Q. Shipley, LB John Simon, OT Ryan Jensen, RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, CB Tramain Jacobs, CB Sammy Seamster, TE Phillip Supernaw, DT A.J. Pataiali’i, OT Parker Graham, DT Jamie Meder, TE Nathan Overbay, OLB D.J. Roberts, C Reggie Stephens, DT Levi Brown, DT Derrick Hopkins. Placed RB Ray Rice (two games) and FS Will Hill (six games) on suspended list. Placed NT Terrence Cody (hip) on the reserve Physically Unable to Perform list, which means he'll miss the first six games of the season. Rookie WR Jeremy Butler (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve.