The Ravens have released long-time cornerback and safety Lardarius Webb, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. RSR Staff react to the news here:
Webby was my favorite Raven for a few years. Pound for pound no one tackled better earlier in his career and he was a very effective blitzer as a nickel corner. He’s a great guy off the field and a wonderful role model, particularly for underprivileged kids attempting to overcome extreme adversity and make their mark on the world.
Today’s release was inevitable after the signing of Tony Jefferson. I hope Webby lands with a winner and gets to “play” in his first Super Bowl.
From an objective standpoint, this should have been done a while ago. Webb hasn’t been the same since his 2012 injury. And that’s only been amplified as he’s gotten older. Sure, he played well as a deep cover safety last season. But last I checked, decent cover guys in their 30’s aren’t deserving of top 5 safety pay. The Tony Jefferson signing was the writing on the wall for Webb’s spot on the team.
From the perspective of a fan, however, Webby will be missed. He was one of the best corners in the league for a couple of seasons but was completely underrated among his peers and coaches around the league. The organization clearly had a soft spot for him, too, or else he would have been gone two years ago.
And now, it’s officially time for me to find a new Nike jersey…
The writing was on the wall already for Webb, who epitomizes what it means to be a team player. Father time is undefeated but all Webb’s done on and off the field in Baltimore won’t be forgotten.
Webb had a great year in 2011 and Ozzie Newsome quickly (probably too quickly) locked him up with a six-year $50 million dollar deal, which would be a huge contract even today. He never fulfilled the expectations that came along with his lucrative deal and frankly this is a move that should have happened last season, but the Ravens had no better options so Webb stuck around. The consensus seems to be that Webb played fairly well towards the end of last season after transitioning to safety, but it’s somewhat telling that Eric Weddle played such a key role in recruiting Tony Jefferson to Baltimore. The chances of him coming back after a pay cut to serve as a backup are slim with a healthy market for safeties. Chances are he’ll be overpaid elsewhere.
It had to happen, but always a bit sad when a long-standing, upstanding Raven departs. Webb has always been a class act, even when some fans haven’t always been the kindest to him.
I’d have to think they’d like to have him back in a lesser role, at a lesser price, but this gives him the opportunity to see if there’s a better opportunity out there. My guess is that he’ll find something, but if not, I’d imagine they’ll talk again later in the offseason.
One of my all-time favorite Ravens. He set a standard for versatility as a 3-down corner who could move seamlessly from outside to SCB in the nickel/dime. His 2011 season remains the best ever by a Ravens cornerback and came in the midst of a string of 26 games with 0 TDs allowed and 9 INTs. He appeared to be on a track for the Ravens Ring of Honor.
The career that could have been were it not for the knee injuries.
I’ll remember him for his highlights, but still hope the Ravens can re-sign him to shore up the back end for 2017.