OWINGS MILLS, MD – On Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens announced that they were releasing five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
Dumervil’s release has been expected for weeks. With the Ravens having little wiggle room against the cap, some roster cuts were looming. Yesterday, the Ravens got the cap-freeing process started by releasing cornerback Shareece Wright and safety Kendrick Lewis. Those moves saved Baltimore $4.9 million in cap space.
The 33-year-old linebacker spent the last four seasons with the Ravens, being named to the Pro Bowl in the 2014 & 2015 seasons. In his time Baltimore, he finished with 127 tackles and 35.5 sacks. 2014 was his best season with the Ravens, as he racked up 17 sacks. In 2014, Dumervil and fellow pass rusher Terrell Suggs were one of the most dangerous pass-rushing duos in the NFL, as the tandem finished with 29 combined sacks.
In 2015, Dumervil’s stats took a dip after Suggs suffered a torn Achilles tendon that ended his season. After the 2015 season ended, Dumervil had an Achilles surgery in which the effects lingered into the season. Dumervil was not activated until week 4, and after playing in two games he did not return until week 12.
He finished the ’16 season with just 11 tackles and three sacks.
With the aging of Dumervil and Suggs, it became clear that one of them had to be released this offseason. Suggs played much more than Dumervil did last season, and was much more effective, even with playing over half the season with a torn bicep. Suggs is also more of a leader than Dumervil is, which is important considering the lack of game-changing leaders on Baltimore’s roster.
Pass rusher is clearly one of the top needs on Baltimore’s roster. Right now, the Ravens are looking at Suggs, Za’Darius Smith and Matt Judon as their top three edge rushers. Smith and Judon have shown flashes, but neither looked ready to take a significant role in the defense. Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti talks about adding more pass rushers each offseason, so look for General Manager Ozzie Newsome to make that happen through either free agency or the draft.
After Dumervil was informed of his release, he posted a tweet thanking the Ravens, their fans, and the city of Baltimore for their support over the past four seasons.