The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of vested veteran LB Brendon Ayanbadejo Thursday afternoon, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced.
A 10-year NFL veteran, Ayanbadejo played five seasons with the Ravens, seeing action in 62 games (four starts). He posted 83 tackles (56 solo), 4.5 sacks, four passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. A three-time special teams Pro Bowler (2006-08) and three-time alternate (2004-05, 2011), he led or shared the team lead in special teams tackles (187 career) in seven of his 10 seasons.
“As a team, we place a high value on special teams, and Brendon was one of our top performers in that area for the last five seasons,” Newsome stated. “He was one of the best special teamers in the league, but he was also a valued member of our defense, especially in our sub (substitute) packages. He became a leader for us, and the door may not be closed to bring him back to help us again.”
“Brendon was the first player we signed when we arrived in 2008, and he went to the Pro Bowl again that season,” head coach John Harbaugh added. “We considered him one of the foundations of our team, and he gave me sound counsel as one of our team leaders. He was a tremendous contributor to our success, both on [special] teams and for our defense over the last five seasons, including our Super Bowl two months ago. And, he was a pleasure to have on our team. We’ll stay in contact, I hope, but I’ll miss our regular conversations.”
In 2012, Ayanbadejo posted a career-high 30 total tackles from scrimmage, adding one sack, one pass defensed and a team-high 14 special teams stops in 16 contests (three starts). In four playoff games this past season, Ayanbadejo recorded two solo tackles.
The 6-1, 225-pounder also spent time with Chicago (2005-07) and Miami (2003-04). Ayanbadejo originally entered the NFL with Atlanta as an undrafted free agent in 1999.