According to the Baltimore Sun, the Baltimore Ravens will release backup running back Willis McGahee.
However, according to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome “there will be no players released before March 3.”
Given the way McGahee’s bonus is structured, I don’t exactly understand why the team wouldn’t part ways with McGahee before a salary cap is in place. With no cap, they can cut him and cut his salary. But when there’s a new CBA in place, they will be forced to pay him the bonus.
The Ravens are reportedly willing to cut McGahee because they don’t want to pay his $6 million base salary for 2011, but they don’t have any other options behind Ray Rice. Unless they are planning to draft a guy to stick behind Rice, they probably won’t be able to get a backup as good or better than McGahee for much cheaper.
For a team that relies heavily on its running game, cutting a good back like McGahee without a Plan B wouldn’t seem to make much sense. Instead of cutting him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them try to him on draft day if and only if they target a running back they really like as a change of pace to Rice.
That is, of course, assuming there’s a CBA in place by April 27th.