As expected, the Ravens won’t be picking up safety Matt Elam‘s fifth-year option for the 2017 season, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Elam will be eligible for free agency after the 2016 campaign, assuming Baltimore keeps him on its roster through the year.
Elam, 24, started 26 regular season contests at safety for the Ravens during his first two NFL seasons. However, having led the team in missed tackles and struggled mightily in coverage, he was bumped from Baltimore’s lineup in favor of Will Hill down the stretch in 2014.
Elam entered 2015 looking to redeem himself, but suffered a complete biceps tear in training camp, ending his season. He was also suspended one game for violating the league’s policy on substances of abuse.
Heading into training camp this year, Elam figures to compete for the No. 3 safety job in Baltimore’s secondary. If he looks good, he could win that job and earn himself some playing time. However, if he keeps slipping down the depth chart, he’ll be in danger of losing his roster spot entirely. If the Ravens were to cut him, they’d remove his $1.328MM base salary from their 2016 cap.
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