The Ravens released Chase Ford on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the tight end signed his $1.67 million restricted free agent tender.
Ford, 25, did not play a game with the Ravens last season after they signed him off the Minnesota Vikings practice squa d on Nov.17. He was placed on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury two weeks later.
It was mildly surprising that the Ravens issued the low restricted tender to Ford last month.
However, at the time, the Ravens felt that they needed the tight end depth. They were concerned that starter Crockett Gillmore might need surgery on both of his shoulders and might miss most, if not all, of training camp. They also knew that Nick Boyle would be suspended for the first 10 games of the 2016 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
But recent weeks have brought positive developments to their tight end group, and ultimately made it easier for them to move on from Ford.
The Ravens signed veteran tight end Benjamin Watson to a two-year deal early in free agency. They learned that Gillmore only needed one shoulder operated on, and he's expected to be 100 percent healthy for the start of training camp. The Ravens also have moved Darren Waller from wide receiver to tight end.
Ford's release came on the same day that the team agreed to a contract restructure for tight end Dennis Pitta. Pitta's status for 2016 remains up in the air, but even if he can't return, the Ravens have other tight end options.