In a surprising development Saturday, the Ravens released five wide receivers - a group that included Justin Harper and Yamon Figurs - signaling their intention to go into the regular season with just four wide-outs.
The organization also traded defensive back Derrick Martin to the Green Bay Packers for offensive lineman Tony Moll and cut rookie kicker Graham Gano, thereby giving the kicking duties to second-year kicker Steve Hauschka.
The club also parted ways with rookie linebacker Tony Fein, who was charged Aug. 23 with assaulting a Baltimore city police officer at the Inner Harbor. Fein, a 27-year-old veteran of the Iraq war who is alleged to have shoved the officer in the chest after being asked twice to stand up and refusing, has maintained that he did nothing wrong.
The departures of Harper, Figurs, Jayson Foster, Ernie Wheelwright and rookie Eron Riley leave the Ravens with just four wide receivers in Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Kelley Washington and Demetrius Williams.
There has been speculation that the team could inquire about David Tyree, who was released Saturday by the New York Giants. Philadelphia's Reggie Brown, who was expected to be cut and pursued by the Ravens, was retained by the Eagles.
Harper, 6 feet 3, 215 pounds and a seventh-round pick from Virginia Tech in 2008, got off to a good start in the preseason, catching a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Troy Smith in the team's opener against the Washington Redskins. But Harper dropped too many passes for the coaching staff's liking.
Figurs, the only player in franchise history to return a kick and a punt for touchdowns in the same season, lost return duties to Chris Carr and rookie Lardarius Webb. The third-round pick in 2007 caught two passes for 48 yards in the preseason.
The Ravens added much-needed depth to their offensive tackle position by acquiring the 6-foot-5, 306-pound Moll, who has played in 39 games - 18 of which he started - in three seasons in Green Bay. Moll, 26, will join Oniel Cousins in backing up starters Jared Gaither and rookie first-round pick Michael Oher.
This preseason, Martin was experimenting at both the cornerback and safety spots, and he said the Packers have expressed interest in him at safety.
The Ravens also released offensive tackles Joe Reitz and Stefan Rodgers, guards Tre' Stallings and Bryan Mattison, tight ends Isaac Smolko and Davon Drew (a fifth-round pick in April), cornerback Evan Oglesby, rookie running back Cedric Peerman (a sixth rounder in April), rookie linebacker William VanDeSteeg, rookie fullback Jason Cook, rookie center Robby Felix, rookie safety K.J. Gerard and defensive tackle Nadir Abdallah.
Mattison is the son of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
The club will begin working on collecting its eight-man practice squad today.