The Ravens announced Wednesday that they had terminated the contract of defensive end Trevor Pryce and brought back safety Ken Hamlin, who was released last week to make room for cornerback Cary Williams.
Pryce, 35, played five seasons in Baltimore, recording 82 tackles and 26 sacks in 56 games. Through three games this season, Pryce had yet to make a tackle. His best season with the Ravens was his first (2006), when he made 37 tackles and racked up 13 sacks.
The release of Pryce, a somewhat surprising move, creates an opportunity for 2009 second-round draft pick Paul Kruger, who was inactive for the Ravens' first three games. Kruger, who played outside linebacker a year ago, bulked up in the offseason for a switch to defensive end, and though he hasn't played in 2010, he has impressed Ravens coach John Harbaugh in practice.
"You know, Paul has been in there practicing well, fighting like crazy," Harbaugh said Monday. "But you only get 45 [active players on game day], and you only get five or six [defensive] linemen. So, you've got to put the guys up that you think give you the best chance against the team that you're playing. I'm sure that when Paul gets activated, he's going to play really well."
With Pryce out of the picture -- even if just for a week -- and defensive end Cory Redding possibly sitting out Sunday after suffering a concussion against the Browns, you have to figure Kruger will be active against the Steelers.
Kruger had a forgettable rookie season overall, but his biggest contribution, without question, was his interception in the Ravens' 20-17 overtime win over the Steelers in Week 12.
We'll see if Kruger plays Sunday -- and if he can make an impact and a lasting impression on the coaching staff by putting pressure on Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch. The Ravens are looking to get more production from their pass rush.
"We want more sacks, we want more pressures, we want more quarterback hits," Harbaugh said. "We're going to keep working for that."