The Ravens made their release of defensive tackle Terrence Cody official today, cutting ties with him just weeks before he was scheduled to hit free agency. The timing of the move can be explained by Cody’s off-field legal troubles — according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links), the Baltimore County Police Dept. announced today that Cody has been indicted for animal cruelty by a grand jury, and was processed and released on a $10K bail. In a series of tweets, Zrebiec details the charges against Cody, which include multiple counts of animal abuse or neglect involving a dog, illegal possession of an alligator, and marijuana possession. A former second-round pick, Cody figured to draw some interest in free agency, but the charges against him figure to diminish his value significantly.
Here’s more from around the AFC:
- The fact that Johnny Manziel has entered rehab does not mean he must be placed in the NFL’s substance abuse program, but the league would have the power to do so. League spokesman Greg Aiello has declined to confirm one way or the other whether the Browns quarterback will enter into the program, according to Mike Wilkering of Pro Football Talk.
- Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower will undergo labrum surgery now that the team’s season is over, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Hightower should be ready to go for the 2015 season.
- Mike Rodak of ESPN.com takes a look at potential release candidates on the Bills, predicting that the team will at least think about cutting linebacker Keith Rivers, guard Kraig Urbik, and cornerback Leodis McKelvin.
- Prior to hiring Joker Phillips as their new wide receivers coach, the Browns interviewed former Alabama State head coach Reggie Barlow for the position, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
- Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap previews the Chargers‘ offseason, suggesting that the team should do what it can to re-sign free agents like King Dunlap and Brandon Flowers.
- Titans fans could surely be frustrated by the production of former player (and current Patriots linebacker) Akeem Ayers, but ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky believes the organization missed out on another defender who played last night. Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett gave the Patriots fits during the Super Bowl, and Kuharsky wonders what could have been had Tennessee pursued him in free agency in 2013.
Ben Levine contributed to this post.