NFL

NFL Sunday: Ravens Make Surprising Cut, Add Hester

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Ravens Make Moves

Saturday was roster cut-down day and one of the most surprising moves came in Baltimore, when the Ravens parted ways with veteran running back Justin Forsett.  The 30-year old is just one year removed from a Pro Bowl appearance (2014) when he had 1,529 yards from scrimmage.

Baltimore will likely go with a tandem backfield of Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius “Buck” Allen, none of which have had much experience or success in the NFL.

Forsett was having a solid season in 2015 before a broken arm prematurely ended it in the Ravens nightmarish 5-11 campaign.  The former Cal Bear had 641 yards rushing in 10 games.

Don’t be surprised if there is a reunion between Forsett and the Ravens, as ESPN is reporting that as a possibility. 

If Forsett doesn’t go back, look for the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns to take a serious look at him.  Other interested parties could be the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams.

Baltimore made some news on Sunday as they came to terms with free agent return man Devin Hester.

Hester worked out for the team on Friday after being let go by the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the offseason.  It’s unclear how much gas he has left in the tank and it’s likely that he will contribute solely on special teams.

His workout prompted the waiving of undrafted free agent Keenan Reynolds, who has a collegiate legend at Navy.

Packers Cut Sitton In A Surprise Move

As surprising as it was that the Baltimore Ravens let go of running back Justin Forsett, it was even more surprising that the Green Bay Packers let go of offensive guard Josh Sitton.

The former UCF product was named as a second-team All Pro each of the last two seasons and the move comes as little more than head scratching as he was still playing at a very high level.

“I really don’t want to talk, man,” Sitton wrote in a text message to Jason Wilde of ESPN.com. “I’m thankful to the organization. It’s a tough business. . . . I’m sad I will be leaving Green Bay. I am thankful for my time here.”

Packers general manager Ted Thompson said that the move “was done with a focus on what is best for the team and the growth of the offensive line.”

Sitton was due to earn $5.9 million in salary on the final year of his deal.  It would appear that the Packers could have at the very least traded him and received some compensation as every team in the NFL could use a lineman of his caliber.

“I’m very optimistic of his prospects for playing for a number of additional years,” Sitton’s agent Jack Reale told ESPN. “He’s coming off of maybe his best camp in the last four years. He’s lighter, and he is in better shape. He is coming off of a Pro Bowl season and he just turned 30. I think he’s got lots left.

“I think all the teams that he has been playing against for the last several years are certainly aware of that and certainly teams within their division. So we will see what happens.”

Sitton’s first free agent visit is reportedly to the Chicago Bears, but the Jacksonville Jaguars stick out as a team that can use his services.  Jacksonville is planning on starting former No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel at left guard, a position he’s played a grand total of one time in the preseason (and never prior to that).  Joeckel struggled mightily and Sitton would represent an immediate upgrade for a team who boasts the most salary cap room in the NFL.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell was asked to comment on Sitton’s availability yesterday, but instead gave this generic response.

“I have to wait and talk to coach and go through a little bit more with him,” Caldwell said.  “I would probably prefer for it to become official through the league to comment on it too.”

Basically every team in the NFL with the exception of the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys and of course the Packers should have some level of interest in Sitton.

Sanchez Doesn’t Stay Out Of Work Long

In a move that was not a surprise to many, the Denver Broncos released veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez on Saturday.  Sanchez was the preseason front-runner to be the starter as the team went to camp with 2015 seventh-round draft pick Trevor Siemian and 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch.  After struggling in game action, the former No. 5 overall pick by the New York Jets lost the starting gig to Siemian, and that wrote the end for Sanchez.

The former USC Trojan wasn’t on the market long as he reportedly signed a deal with the Dallas Cowboys to backup Dak Prescott reportedly worth anywhere from $2 million to in excess of $5 million, which is the appropriate amount of salary for a backup quarterback.

At this point Sanchez is little more than an insurance policy if Prescott can’t handle the rigors of being thrust into the starting role.  Tony Romo is expected to be back somewhere around mid-season and it’s likely that Sanchez would be moved to a No. 3 role.  With his signing coming just a week prior to the regular season opener, his full salary would be guaranteed if he remains on the roster next weekend.

There are some rumors floating about that the Cowboys weren’t exactly on the “up and up” in their negotiations with the former Bronco quarterback.  Some say that the team was negotiating with him before his release was made official, which would be considered tampering.  The Kansas City Chiefs lost a couple of draft picks for tampering with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin when he was still officially a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

There’s no word yet if the NFL is going to investigate the allegation.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.