JaMycal Hasty was waived by the Jaguars this past weekend following a year-plus with the organization. The running back had 320 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns during his first season in Jacksonville but was limited to only three games and zero touches this year. He’ll be hard pressed to carve out a role in New England with Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott leading the depth chart.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These 49ers, Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks moves are noted below.
The Ravens did a bit of work in the days leading up to the roster cut deadline, including the announced release of veteran running back Melvin Gordon. Still, there was a bit of work left to be done today. Here’s the remaining moves Baltimore made in order to get down to 53 players:
The most surprising moves here come at cornerback. Especially with the recent injury trouble facing star corner Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens choice to not only cut two reliable backups in Seymour and Worley but also to waive the fifth-round rookie draft pick Kelly is shocking. The team did reinforce with several free agent veterans like Rock Ya-Sin, Ronald Darby, and Arthur Maulet, and they’re hoping to see strong seasons from second year cornerbacks Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis, both of whom were limited in their rookie seasons due to injury. Look for them to attempt to retain Seymour and Worley on the practice squad. Kelly will have to clear waivers in order to return, a tough ask for a fifth-round talent. Williams is expected to be placed on injured reserve following the deadline, opening a door for Worley or Seymour to return to the active roster.
Brown and Johnson put forth valiant efforts throughout the preseason, essentially allowing starting quarterback Lamar Jackson and primary backup Tyler Huntley to escape the preseason without really being touched. Unfortunately, neither made a strong enough case to remain on the regular season roster. Brown is surely a candidate to return to the practice squad, if he clears waivers.
Baltimore’s tradition of scouting undrafted talent continued this year as the team saw two free agent rookies make the initial 53-man roster. Former East Carolina running back Keaton Mitchell gave some strong impressions that helped him beat out Gordon and fellow undrafted signee Wright. Malik Hamm, Lafayette’s all-time sack leader, makes the team behind as of yet unproven pass rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, veteran Jadeveon Clowney, and fellow rookie Tavius Robinson, a fourth-round pick out of Ole Miss.
When veteran cornerback Marcus Peters‘s contract expired at the end of the season, the starting cornerback spot across from Marlon Humphrey became a big point of concern for Ravens fans. Aside from times when one or the other was injured, Peters and Humphrey have manned the boundary corner positions in Baltimore together since 2019. While not completely out of the realm of possibility, it’s not looking likely to continue into 2023, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
In a mailbag Q&A, Zrebiec fielded several questions from fans inquiring about the likelihood of Peters returning to Baltimore. Peters struggled a bit in his return from an ACL tear that held him out of the entire 2021 season. He still served as a starting-caliber cornerback that could limit damage, but his playmaking, shutdown defense was nowhere to be found in 2022. Now two years removed from seeing Peters playing his best football, the Ravens haven’t shown any sign of prioritizing the return of the 30-year-old.
Peters visited the Raiders in mid-May and has remained in close contact with the team, but as of yet, no deal seems certain. Zrebiec points out that there’s no risk in Peters waiting. Better offers or opportunities may still come his way and, until camps start, there’s truly no rush.
In Baltimore, the Ravens eventually addressed the hole in the roster by signing Rock Ya-Sin. Ya-Sin doesn’t have the resume that Peters does, but he’s younger and has shown better football more recently than Peters. Even with Ya-Sin on the roster, Baltimore still didn’t rule out the possibility of bringing Peters back. They know he fits in the locker room, but in order for him to return, he’s going to have to be realistic on his value.
In a market bereft of lockdown, star cornerback talent, Peters may be one of the top options, but he’s not so good that he’ll earn past his value. The Ravens could certainly still make a different addition to the room before training camp. Several veterans remain free agents, such as Ronald Darby, Byron Jones, Bryce Callahan, Casey Hayward, and former Raven Anthony Averett. If Peters isn’t willing to meet the Ravens halfway on a new contract, Baltimore has plenty of other avenues they can explore.
So, for now, it appears most likely that Peters is Vegas bound. He appears to be waiting out the options, and the Ravens appear to be open to his return without pushing past their limits. A return to Baltimore isn’t impossible, but it will need to feel right with both sides.