NFL Nation: Jerry Rosburg
As everyone knows by now, the Ravens cut kicker Billy Cundiff in a gutsy move by the team. That means undrafted rookie Justin Tucker takes over as kicker.
“Billy had a great camp, the best he has had with us," coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. "He showed, like he always has, a toughness and an ability to come back and be a top-flight NFL kicker. These decisions are never easy, and this one was difficult for all of us -- Ozzie [Newsome, general manager], Jerry [Rosburg, special-teams coordinator] and me."
Harbaugh added, "Of course, that says something about Justin, the way he has kicked and our belief in him. But, that does not say something less about Billy. Billy was ready in every way to be our kicker. He’ll kick in the NFL. He’s a very good kicker and an even better person.”
The Ravens had signed Cundiff to a five-year, $14.7 million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus just 19 months ago.
The one notable player waived by the Ravens was center Cecil Newton, the brother of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Cecil Newton was on the team's practice squad last season. Here are the other players waived: tight end Davon Drew (a 2009 fifth-round pick), receiver Devin Goda, OL Addison Lawrence, cornerback Jordan Mabin, long-snapper Patrick Scales, quarterback Chester Stewart and receiver Patrick Williams.
These cuts bring the Ravens' roster down to 81 players, meaning six more need to go by Monday's deadline. One move could be placing wide receiver Tommy Streeter, who didn't practice Saturday, on injured reserve to store him away for a year.
For the Browns, the biggest name to go was wide receiver Carlton Mitchell.The Browns had hopes they could develop Mitchell when they drafted the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder in the sixth round in 2010. But he managed three catches for 31 yards in two seasons. Cleveland decided to move on after drafting Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft and taking Travis Benjamin in the fourth round in April.
Here are the other players waived by the Browns: offensive linemen Jake Anderson and Matt Cleveland, defensive back Emanuel Davis, linebacker JoJo Dickson, punter Spencer Lanning and wide receivers Bert Reed, Jermaine Saffold and Owen Spencer.
The Browns now have 80 players on their roster and need to make five more moves by Monday's deadline.
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Here is your one-stop shopping for the best stories around the AFC North:
- Over the weekend, Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that four weeks have passed since former Browns center LeCharles Bentley asked for his release and he has yet to find a new team.
Walker's take: This is an odd time to find work as front offices spend most of July on vacation and negotiating rookie contracts. Bentley will get a look somewhere, even if it's not at the start of training camp.
- Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times says the Baltimore Ravens' special-teams units could be special this year.
Walker's take: Two years ago, Ravens rookie head coach John Harbaugh and new assistant Jerry Rosburg may have been the top special teams coaches in the NFL. Now those two minds are together in Baltimore.
- Albert Breer of SportingNews.com ranks the Ravens as the third-best destination for Brett Favre in the event he leaves the Green Bay Packers. The Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
Walker's take: I am in total agreement. See for yourself.
- Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe did a profile on Donte' Stallworth's move from the New England Patriots to the Cleveland Browns. In the article Stallworth says, "I've been kind of joking with Randy [Moss] and some of the guys that the road to the Super Bowl goes through Cleveland."
Walker's take: Has the road to the Super Bowl ever gone through Cleveland? The last time the Browns won a football championship was in 1964, before the NFL/AFL merger.
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