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Ravens release starting safety Pollard

Another day and another key member of last season's Super Bowl winning team is on his way out of Baltimore.

A day after losing linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger in free agency, and two days after trading wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the Baltimore Ravens released starting strong safety Bernard Pollard Wednesday in a surprise move that means the Ravens will be moving forward without their leading tackler from last season.

The move was even more surprising considering Pollard is only 28 years old, was set to count just $3.25 million against the salary cap and that his release provides a cap savings of just $1 million, although his outspoken nature and apparent tendency to complain have been reported among the possible reasons for his release.

Pollard was due a $500,000 roster bonus if he was still on Baltimore's roster Friday.

Pollard broke the news of his release on Twitter Wednesday morning.

In response to the move, Ravens fullback Vonta Leach tweeted: "Wow my boy [Pollard] is gone great teammate and father on and off the field."

Pollard, known for his toughness and physicality, was the Ravens' starter at strong safety each of the last two seasons. He recorded a team-high 98 tackles last year despite playing through broken ribs for much of the season and missing the final three games of the regular season.

Pollard added 17 tackles and a forced fumble during the playoffs.

His release comes a day after Baltimore re-signed fellow veteran strong safety James Ihedigbo, who started three games in place of an injured Pollard during the latter part of last year's regular season.

The Ravens also met with several of the top-rated safeties in this year's NFL draft at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, including Matt Elam from Florida, viewed as a potential first-round pick, and D.J. Swearinger, a physical, hard-hitting player from South Carolina expected to be selected around the third round of the draft.

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