Bynes made the game-sealing tackle for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, bringing down Ted Ginn on a kick return as time expired in the fourth quarter. Levine was also a member of that squad, though he did not play in the playoffs due to injury.
Richards played in the Super Bowl in back-to-back years as a New England Patriot, winning Super Bowl LII against the Atlanta Falcons in 2017. He was cut by the Ravens on August 23 but failed to generate interest from other teams, ultimately landing back in Baltimore, where he played 79% of the team’s special teams snaps last season.
Bynes Provides Vital Experience at ILB
Even at 32, Josh Bynes proved he still had plenty left in the tank after starting 16 games and recording 99 tackles as a Cincinnati Bengal last season, both career highs for the nine-year veteran. He signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2011 after three years at Auburn, spending his rookie year on the practice squad before earning a roster spot for his sophomore season.
Bynes started three games for the Ravens in 2012 after injuries to the team’s linebacker corps and earned a starting ILB job in 2013, which he later lost due to his own health issues.
The Ravens released Bynes in 2014, after which he spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions and two with the Arizona Cardinals before returning to Baltimore in 2019.
Despite his successful 2020 season in Cincinnati, Bynes received little interest in free agency, eventually signing with the Panthers on August 11.
His third stint in Baltimore could not have come at a better time for the Ravens, who are in need of experience at inside linebacker following L.J. Fort’s season-ending injury. The Ravens’ four currently-rostered ILBs only have six seasons under their collective belts, so Bynes’ presence on the practice squad will be valuable for their development.
Ravens Hope Levine, Richards Will Mentor Young DBs
The release of Richards and Levine speaks to the Ravens’ depth in their secondary, as the team opted to keep several young defensive backs over the two veterans.
Still, both safeties bring a lot to the table with their years of NFL experience, including several playoff appearances. Their knowledge of the nuances of the pro game will hopefully help rookies Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington catch on quickly.
Levine’s leadership in the Ravens’ locker room has been valuable in recent years, earning him the nickname ‘Co-Cap.’ His inclusion on the practice squad was expected as soon as his release was announced.
Smith is expected to come back early in the regular season, while Humphrey returned to practice today, per Zrebiec.