The Baltimore Ravens have waived three rookies as part of their personnel moves to trim their roster down to 53 players.
Fullback Ben Mason, offensive linemen Adrian Ealy and Foster Sarell, running back Nate McCrary, kicker Jake Verity and defensive tackle Jovan Swann were all cut by the team today, per the Ravens’ official Twitter account, which also confirmed yesterday’s release of rookie tight end Tony Poljan.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first broke news of Mason’s release, which came as a minor surprise after the Ravens spent a fifth-round pick on the Michigan product in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Observers questioned the Ravens’ decision to draft Mason when the Ravens already have one of the league’s best lead blockers in two-time Pro Bowler Patrick Ricard at fullback.
With tight end Nick Boyle still working back from a knee injury, the former Wolverine came into training camp looking to prove his blocking and pass-catching prowess to earn a roster spot, but tight end Josh Oliver outshined Mason in the preseason.
While not all NFL teams carry fullbacks, Mason could still get claimed off the waiver wire, but if he clears waivers, the Ravens will likely sign him to the practice squad.
Follow the rest of the team’s moves with Heavy on Ravens 2021 53-man roster tracker!
Undrafted Rookies Fail to Make Roster
None of the other cuts come as a surprise, as Ealy, Sarell, McCrary, Verity, Swann and Poljan all signed with the Ravens after going undrafted earlier this year.
Adrian Ealy was named the Ravens’ most likely UDFA to make the roster by Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay in August, but failed to seize the swing tackle job in the preseason. He has the raw strength to play in the NFL, but he lacks the requisite technique to secure a roster spot this early in his career.
Foster Sarell was a five-star recruit at offensive tackle who suffered a knee injury in 2018 as a Stanford Cardinal. He moved to the interior of the offensive line in the preseason, and failed to distinguish himself in a crowded Baltimore guard room.
Both Sarell and Ealy are practice squad candidates, but Ealy is the better bet to return if he clear waivers, as the Ravens do not have a lot of depth at OT.
Despite a solid preseason, Nate McCrary couldn’t hang onto a roster spot as the Ravens opted to carry just three running backs. He totaled 45 touches over three preseason games, including 22 carries against the Washington Football Team on August 28. He’s a likely practice squad addition for the Ravens’ given their lack of running back depth after J.K. Dobbins’ season-ending injury.
Jovan Swann was a long shot to make the roster after signing with the Ravens out of Indiana University, and was barely a factor in the preseason, leading to his release.
Ravens Fail to Find Verity Trade Partner
Despite persistent rumors that the Ravens were shopping undrafted rookie kicker Jake Verity, who made all but one of his preseason kicks, including a 53-yarder against the New Orleans Saints.
He could still get picked up off of waivers by a team in need of a more consistent kicker.
He could be headed to the Detroit Lions, who released both of their kickers today, per Lions team reporter Dannie Rogers.