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Ravens plan to release Terrence Cody, who is under investigation for animal cruelty

Ravens DT Terremce Cody is under investigation for animal cruelty.

The Ravens intend to terminate veteran nose tackle Terrence Cody's contract after the Super Bowl, the team announced Friday morning.

Cody is under investigation for animal cruelty, and the case is being discussed with the Baltimore County State's attorney's office, said Elise Armacost, the director of communications for Baltimore County police.

Cody hasn't been charged with a crime.

According to multiple sources, the case involves the death of Cody's dog.

The Ravens are aware of the investigation. They did not cite a reason when announcing that Cody would be cut.

Cody's agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Baltimore Sun that Cody had taken the dog to see a veterinarian for treatment and then the dog subsequently died. Schaffer said that Cody is extremely upset about the death of his dog and had paid roughly $8,000 for the Bullmastiff from Spain.

"The fact that the NFL has created such an atmosphere of hysteria that tramples on due process rights, the right of law and common decency is a tremendous problem in our league and our society," Schaffer said. "This young man’s dog has died, and the Ravens were so worried about possible ramifications from the league that they took a pre-emptive strike. If I find out that anyone holds anything against my client because of this, I will take every and all legal action to make sure my client's rights are vindicated and that he’s made whole.

"He loves this dog. Why would he have the dog treated otherwise? This guy is the salt of the earth. You would hope the state attorney in Maryland would be investigating the real crime and real issues. I would hope for the citizens of Baltimore County and Baltimore City that they would expect their public tax dollars to be used on real criminal issues."

Schaffer said he has no issue with the Ravens, but said the emphasis from the NFL on player conduct following several high-profile off-field cases has made teams extremely sensitive to potential consequences from the NFL. Among the situations the NFL dealt with this past year were former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence case and a child abuse case involving suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

"We don’t fault the Ravens," Schaffer said. "They're put in this awkward predicament of what's going on. We hold the Ravens in the highest regard. It's a predicament caused by the significant overreaction of the league that tramples on players' rights. I'm not going to sit idly by and let it happen to my client."

Cody was already scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March, as his one-year, $730,000 contract was set to expire.

The 2010 second-round draft pick from Alabama had a disappointing five-year tenure with the Ravens. He played in just one game last season, seeing the field for nine snaps.

Cody has 87 career tackles with no sacks, forced fumbles or fumble recoveries. 

He underwent surgery on his left hip a year ago and then had surgery on his right hip last spring. Cody was signed to a new contract last March that included no guaranteed money. He once weighed 400 pounds in junior college, but played this season at roughly 330 pounds.

Cody, an All-Southeastern Conference selection at Alabama, had 15 tackles in 12 games in 2013 with one start.

His best professional season came in 2011, when he started 15 games and had 34 tackles as the replacement for Kelly Gregg.

However, he was beaten out for the starting job the following year by Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

awilson@baltsun.com

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