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The Ravens surprisingly cut defensive end Trevor Pryce and re-signed safety Ken Hamlin.

Pryce, 35, who led the Ravens with 6 1/2 sacks last season, took a $2.5 million paycut this offseason to remain with the team. A strong leader in the locker room, he had started 42 games for the Ravens before being replaced in the starting lineup in the middle of last season.

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The move was unexpected at this time because defensive end Cory Redding is questionable for Sunday's game with a concussion. But when Redding was knocked out of the game Sunday, the Ravens replaced him with Brandon McKinney and not Pryce.

There is speculation that the Ravens could bring back Pryce, re-siging him as early as next week. If that's the case, the Ravens just released Pryce in order to free up a roster spot for Hamlin, who could be more of a factor for the Ravens against the Steelers.Pryce joined the Ravens in 2006 after playing nine years with the Denver Broncos. In his first season with the Ravens, he led the geam with 13 sacks. He recorded 6 1/2 sacks over the next two seasons before leading the Ravens again in 2009.

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In April, he agreed to reduce his salary from $4.5 million to $2 million in 2010, the final year of his contract. There was speculation that the Ravens were considering releasing Pryce after the draft if they added another defensive lineman because his original salary was expensive for a backup.

He made $4 million last season, when he was replaced in the starting lineup by Dwan Edwards just six games into the season.

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