xml:space="preserve">

The Ravens have released cornerback and special teams ace Justin Bethel, the team announced Monday, a move intended to recoup a compensatory draft pick.

The Ravens signed Bethel to a two-year, $4 million deal this offseason, but with former Ravens defensive end Brent Urban’s release Saturday by the Tennessee Titans, the team was expected to lose a compensatory 2020 NFL draft pick. By releasing Bethel before Week 10, the Ravens will get back their projected fourth-round pick.

Advertisement

“Judgment has to be made for the future as well,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who called the compensatory system “funky,” said at his weekly news conference Monday. “That’s tough for us because, I told him, I think he’s the best special teams player in the NFL, and he’s playing that way. So that’s going to be a blow, and we’re going to have to find a way to overcome that.”

Bethel, 29, has six tackles and a fumble recovery in seven games this season while playing a team-high 81.07% of the Ravens’ special teams snaps. He did not play a snap on defense in the Ravens’ 30-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and has played just 14 all year.

Bethel played exclusively on special teams for the Atlanta Falcons last season. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times as a special teams standout in his six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Ravens also released defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter from their practice squad Monday. With the two moves, and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee likely headed to season-ending injured reserve with a triceps injury, the team will have two open spots on its 53-man roster and one on its practice squad.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement