Ravens, DC Don Martindale Part Ways

Don Martindale will not lead the Ravens’ defense for a fifth season in 2022. The sides agreed to part ways Friday, making for an unexpected development.

The Ravens regressed defensively this season, dropping to 25th in yards allowed, but the team dealt with injuries throughout. Martindale had previously surfaced on the HC interview circuit, meeting with the Giants in 2020. The veteran defensive leader has not been connected to any jobs yet this cycle.

After several productive conversations, Don and I have agreed to move forward in separate directions,” John Harbaugh said Friday. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it’s time to pursue other opportunities. Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time.”

One year remained on Martindale’s contract. The Ravens had extended their DC in 2020. The 58-year-old assistant stands to be an intriguing commodity on the market, as several teams hire new coaches ahead of staff retools. He joins Vic Fangio and Mike Zimmer as proven defensive coordinators in coaching free agency.

Martindale has been a coordinator for two teams, also serving as the Broncos’ DC during a poor 2010 season. He revamped his reputation with the Ravens. Baltimore ranked as a top-10 defense from 2018-20, with Martindale’s units helping the team’s Lamar Jackson transition result in three straight playoff trips. Prior to being promoted to replace Dean Pees as Baltimore’s DC, Martindale headed up the team’s linebacking corps from 2012-17. The first of those seasons ended with the team’s second Super Bowl win.

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