OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the $10 million contract of veteran cornerback Samari Rolle, a move that wasn’t unexpected considering his chronic neck problems.
Rolle is a former Pro Bowl cornerback who has undergone two neck surgeries over the past few years.
The 6-foot, 175-pounder is expected to retire.
He was due remaining base salaries of $1.95 million in 2010, $2.4 million in 2011 and $2.85 million in 2012, according to NFL Players Association figures.
“We got a chance to appreciate his talents and his abilities as a football player, but also as a person, of who he was, he and [Rolle’s wife] Danisha,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “I’m just glad to be able to say, hey, I’ve had the opportunity to know Samari.”
Rolle, 33, signed with the Ravens in 2005 after playing his first six NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
Last year, Rolle signed a four-year contract after being released at his own request. However, he had surgery to repair a bulging disc prior to last season and then underwent another procedure.
Rolle intercepted three passes in 2008 as he played in 10 games one year after being diagnosed with epilepsy.
For his career, Rolle intercepted 31 passes.
Toward the end of last season, Rolle indicated that he probably wouldn’t play again due to the potential danger of another neck injury.
“I want to thank everyone for an amazing run here in Baltimore,” Rolle said in a statement. “From the coaching staff, to ownership and management, and everyone in between, this is a world-class organization and a close knit family that I’ll miss.
“I enjoyed the time I spent here and am especially grateful to the fans who have supported me and my foundation as well. I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life, enjoying my family and the life God has blessed me with.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said recently at the NFL owners meetings that he didn’t expect Rolle to play for the team this season.
Over the past three seasons, Rolle was limited to 16 games.
“Just the way he carried himself, the way he handled adversity, the way he fought through the medical issues, the injuries, the way he played at the end of the season in the playoff run, all that stuff speaks to him,” Harbaugh said. “He’s just a true class individual.”
NOTES: Newsome indicated that the Ravens aren’t planning to sign a free agent kicker prior to the draft. The Ravens have remained in contact with kicker Shayne Graham after meeting with him and his agent at the NFL owners meetings last month in Orlando, Fla. They would like to acquire someone to compete with Billy Cundiff, who finished last season as the starting kicker after replacing Steve Hauschka. The Ravens haven’t been in touch with former kicker Matt Stover and are considered unlikely to do so. “There’s still some kickers out there that we have some interest in,” Newsome said. …Stanford running back Toby Gerhart is set to visit today. … The Ravens have a meeting later this week with University of Florida center Maurkice Pouncey. … Offensive guard-center Chris Chester ($1.176 million) and linebacker Prescott Burgess ($1.101 million) signed their one-year, original round restricted free agent tenders, the team announced. … The Ravens cancelled their annual spring football festival that’s usually held during the opening day of the draft due to ongoing renovations at M&T Bank Stadium. The team hopes to organize a fan event with the Orioles.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.