By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
3:38 PM EDT, October 19, 2013
The Ravens on Saturday activated veteran inside linebacker Jameel McClain from the reserve-physically unable to perform list and cut tight end Billy Bajema heading into Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McClain returned to practice this week 10 months after suffering a spinal cord contusion last December against the Washington Redskins. He participated fully in practice all week without any setbacks and has experienced no symptoms.
McClain was listed as probable on the injury report.
McClain could provide immediate reinforcements for a thin inside linebacker position.
Starting weak-side inside linebacker Josh Bynes was ruled out for Sunday due to an infected finger that required surgery. Backup inside linebacker Albert McClellan has been limited due to a sprained right shoulder.
Rookie second-round draft pick Arthur Brown has been preparing to start with Bynes out, but McClain is a much more experienced player and started for the last three seasons.
It wouldn't be a shock if the Ravens had McClain start in the base defense or play a significant number of snaps in tandem with Brown. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees reiterated this week that he anticipated McClain would regain his job once back on the 53-man roster.
McClain's base salary was reduced from $3 million to $1.5 million in August, but he can make back the $1.5 million through playing time and individual and team incentive clauses. He's under contract for 2014 with a $3.2 million base salary.
For Bajema, this marks yet another transaction in an off and on season with Ravens.
Released during the final major roster cutdown prior to the regular season, Bajema was re-signed just before the season-opener against the Denver Broncos.
He was cut on Oct. 3 when the Ravens traded for offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, then re-signed two days later when wide receiver Brandon Stokley was released.
Bajema was cut again on Oct. 8 when Stokley was re-signed and then re-signed two days later when running back Shaun Draughn was released.
Now, the blocking tight end is off the roster again.
Regardless of his roster status, Bajema counts $555,000 against the salary cap and is paid as a vested veteran. His base salary is $840,000, but counts less against the cap under the minimum salary benefit.