Ex-Ravens First-Rounder & Starting Center Among Notable NFL Cuts

Ravens Flacco Perriman

Getty Former Ravens Joe Flacco (left) and Breshad Perriman (right) celebrate a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in 2016.

Two prominent former Baltimore Ravens were cut by their teams on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time 53-man roster deadline.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that wide receiver Breshad Perriman, the Ravens’ 2015 first-round pick, was released by the Detroit Lions this morning.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network later broke news that the Miami Dolphins cut center Matt Skura, who started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2018.

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Both roster moves were regarded as surprises by league insiders, as Perriman and Crosby have been steady contributors in recent years.

Neither player is expected to generate any interest from their former team, as the Ravens’ are set at both wideout and center heading into the season.

Former Ravens’ Tenures Marred by Injury

Both Perriman and Skura struggled with injuries during their time in Baltimore.

The Ravens took Perriman with the 26th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft with the hopes that the UCF product would develop into a reliable vertical threat, but missed most of his rookie season with a sprained PCL. He appeared in 16 games in 2016, but only caught half of his targets, struggling even more in 2017 with only 10 receptions for the year.

Perriman was cut by Baltimore ahead of the 2018 season and eventually signed with the Cleveland Browns, where he averaged 21.4 yards per reception in 2019.

Though Perriman is considered a bust by the Ravens fanbase, he has emerged as a somewhat productive receiver in recent years, finishing with more than 500 yards for the past two seasons playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.

His tenure with the Jets included a highlight game against the New England Patriots, in which Perriman caught two touchdowns from fellow former Raven Joe Flacco, including this 50-yard bomb.

Skura arrived in Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2016, where he stayed on the practice squad for a year before taking over for an injured Marshal Yanda at right guard in 2017.

The following year, the departure of veteran Ryan Jensen allowed Skura to win the Ravens’ starting center job, where the Duke product played 100% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps.

A knee-injury cut Skura’s 2019 season short, but he returned in 2020 as the Ravens’ starting center. He botched three snaps in the Ravens’ December 2020 loss to the Patriots, and the Ravens allowed Skura to leave in free agency the following offseason, moving Bradley Bozeman to center for more consistency at the vital position.

Potential OT, ILB Depth Available After First Cuts

Interestingly, the Lions and the Dolphins each released one player that could potentially fit the Ravens’ current needs.

Schefer also listed offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby among the Lions’ wave of cuts after the 2018 fifth-round pick struggled with a hamstring injury this preseason. The 26-year-old could be an intriguing option for the Ravens, who may be looking for a stronger swing tackle than current backup Patrick Mekari.

Crosby started 11 games in Detroit last year, accounting for 63% of the Lion’s snaps at right tackle, finishing the year with a 68.1 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. Depending on the status of his hamstring, he could be a candidate to provide offensive line depth in Baltimore.

The Dolphins also released linebacker Benardrick McKinney today after trading for the veteran in March, per Rapoport. After the season-ending injury to L.J. Fort, the Ravens could be looking for experienced depth at ILB, and McKinney certainly fits that bill.

The former Houston Texan played in at least 14 games for five of his six years in the NFL, including a three-year stretch in which he started every game, earning a second-team All-Pro nod in 2016 and a Pro Bowl berth in 2018.

The Ravens currently have Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison and Chris Board as roster locks at inside linebacker, with Kristian Welch and Otara Alaka competing for a spot behind them. Queen started all 16 games last season, but Harrison and Board only have eight career starts between them, so the Ravens may be seeking a backup linebacker with more experience than Welch (eight career defensive snaps) and Alaka (zero career defensive snaps).

McKinney may be worth a look, especially if he’s winning to come to a Super Bowl contender for a discount.

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