Brendon Ayanbadejo bids the Ravens farewell


It appears the Ravens and three-time Pro Bowl special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo are parting ways.

Once officially released, the Ravens will have to eat $266,666 in dead money; however, they’ll save $1.762 million over the remaining two-years of the three-year extension Ayanbadejo signed prior to the start of the 2012 season. For purposes of this year’s salary cap, the Ravens will save $807,000.

Ayanbadejo tweeted the following on Wednesday afternoon:






Ayanbadejo’s release isn’t a surprise, it was almost expected. For most of his career, he’s been primarily a special teams contributor. Given that the Ravens are in penny-pinching mode, paying a 36-year old veteran to only pay special teams doesn’t make sense – especially when his price tag is roughly twice what it would cost for a rookie.

The 11-year NFL veteran will turn 37 prior to the first game of the regular season. The majority of linebackers his age wouldn’t even be considered for a roster spot but Ayanbadejo will likely be given another chance to at least attend training camp given his relentless workout regimen.

Ayanbadejo will now be fighting for more than equal marriage rights this offseason – he’ll be fighting for another job. Personally, Ayanbadejo was always nice to be around and I wish him nothing but the best in the future.

21 Raves on “Brendon Ayanbadejo bids the Ravens farewell

  1. Luke on said:

    Kris, you also have to factor in the cost of the guy who is replacing him on the roster into the true cap figure. That guy presently makes $480k (a number that should be pretty stationary heading into the season), so the true cap savings is a mere $327. For a team that is roughly $5m under the cap presently, this wasn’t a cap related move.

    Another head scratcher. Why get rid of this guy for such a small amount of cap space? At one point in each of the last 3 seasons, we needed Ayanbadejo to step in and take a decent amount of snaps (mainly passing downs) due to injuries ahead of him on the depth chart. He always seems to play well in those instances, so this is quite a peculiar move.

    If you make it to camp and can’t justify giving a player that old a spot in the 53 man roster, that’s fine. Why do it now, particularly with Jameel McClain being no sure thing to even play a single snap in 2013? You can always cut him in training camp if it’s apparent he’s not making the team. Doing it now just further limits future options all for a very minimal cap savings.

    • Kris Jones on said:

      Luke, both you and I are correct. Let’s put it this way, there isn’t any way the Ravens are bringing in a vet just to play special teams if they cut Ayanbadejo.

      As of right now, cutting him does add $807k back into the Ravens salary cap, which is all that matters at this point. His roster spot will be replaced by a younger and less expensive player ($480k) as you pointed out, but anyone who is on the team for that amount will also be on the team for other reasons far beyond special teams. They’ll be gunning for playing time.

      So, in the grand scheme of things… yes, the savings are a mere $327k, but the overlap in money being spent will be utilized on a player who has a greater potential to impact the team beyond what Ayanbadejo was able to contribute at the age of 36.

      • Timpo on said:

        Also, Think about the roster spot that it opens up. Cost and such is a wonderful aspect, but once you need to drop down to a locked in number of players for the season, that roster sport becomes gold. Having someone who is just a special teamer, albeit one hell of a special teamer, doesnt help as much.

  2. Mike in Grasdonville on said:

    From what I’ve heard the Ravens have more like $3.5 million left in cap space, not $5. Adding that $807 thousand would bring them to $4.3 million under. Ayanbadejo is an expendable player, who can easily be replaced in the draft. While the rookie may not be quite as good to start, I wouldn’t think there would be a huge drop off in talent. Also, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ayanbadejo was the talked about gay player in the NFL who might come out. Maybe the Ravens know this and are killing the effects of that before it happens.

      • Kris Jones on said:

        What’s wrong with the last two sentences? He is very public in his fight for equal marriage rights and he was a nice guy. His stance has been very public and it’s dwarfed what he’s done on the football field, even after winning the Super Bowl. There’s no need to be sensitive to this…it’s news.

        And yes, he was a nice guy and always willing to talk. I certainly do wish him the best.

        • John on said:

          I got the impression that the last two sentences referred to the post above. Right or wrong, his stance will come with questions. It’s part of the territory.

    • Vic on said:

      Those veiled or in your case not so veiled remarks about Ayanbadejo’s sexuality is totally uncalled for. Just because he fights for equal rights, doesn’t mean he is gay. Much like rich people who fight to alleviate poverty aren’t really poor!

  3. Matthew on said:

    Spent more time last season promoting gay marriage than sticking to his lane assignments (see the Broncos KR). This didn’t surprise me.

  4. charlie on said:

    while i thought he was always over matched playing LB, i don’t think he promoted gay marriage, he, like the rest of us that live/LIVED in a free american, voiced a support for FREEDOM for anyone/everyone. standing up for the weak, mislead, misguided or different has become unpopular and has made us, as a people and country, weaker, supported by know nothing talking heads/media. as i don’t necessarily agree with BA’s stuff, i applaud him for standing up and voicing his opinion. i think he was let go because of his unpopular freedom first attitude not his age-the guy always came to play in super condition.

    • TheChuck on said:

      The guy vocalized his support for gay marriage before he came here. I doubt that his vocalizing it had anything to do with it.

  5. HollywoodHeiz on said:

    All this guy did for the last five years was drive Ray Lewis to M&T Bank stadium on game day. His special team coverage was anything but special ( does anyone remember his last tackle?). And his off field antics were becoming too much of a distraction. No surprise here with Ray gone and Harbs taking control of the locker room and the media that covers it.

  6. pvrcbabe on said:

    I really liked BA, but there was a noticable drop off in his play this past season. I saw this coming. Harbaugh brought him in when he became the head coach and I think it is utterly ridiculous to think he was cut because of his advocacy for gay rights. This was strictly a football move!

  7. Ron B on said:

    I guess Brendan figures those 2 times in the Denver playoff game that Trindon Holliday ran past him on his way to his pair of TD returns had nothing to do with the Ravens cutting him? Give me a break! He simply wasn’t worth the money he was going to be paid this year. That’s not what you expect from a special team player that is being paid premium dollars. He had a good 5 year run with the Ravens, but now it’s time for the Ravens to replace him with someone that is paid less, plain and simple.

    His complaint about being let go because of his views is simply ludicrous and displays his immaturity and lack of self-awareness. I would have liked to have seen the Ravens bring him back for less money, but now I’m not so sure.

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