Outspoken Pollard released by Ravens
The Ravens shakeup on defense continued on Wednesday, with the team reportedly releasing strong safety Bernard Pollard.
Pollard broke the news himself, tweeting Wednesday morning: "Well Raven Nation it's been fun. My time in Baltimore is done... Thank you!"
There's been no official word from the Ravens, but Pollard had a base salary of $2 million and had a cap number of $3.25 million. He was due a $500,000 roster bonus this week. Because of the accounting, the Ravens will save about $1 million in cap space with the move.
Pollard, 28, signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 2011, and then signed a three-year extension last May. Always one of the hardest hitters on the team, Pollard led the team with 98 tackles in the regular season despite missing three games with a rib injury. He later disclosed after the season that he had been playing with as many as six cracked ribs.
Pollard, a second-round draft pick out of Purdue in 2006 by the Chiefs, has played 105 regular-season games over seven seasons, with three seasons in Kansas City, two in Houston and two in Baltimore.
Pollard, who uses the Twitter handle crushboy31, has earned his reputation as one of the league's hardest hitters and a one-man Patriots wrecking crew. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed virtually the entire 2008 season after being hit in the knee by Pollard in the season opener while Pollard was with the Chiefs.
It was Pollard, then with the Texans, who was bearing down on Wes Welker when Welker tried to cut inside and suffered a serious knee injury.
It was also Pollard who rolled over Rob Gronkowski's ankle in the AFC Championship Game two years ago. And it was Pollard who forced a fumble in this past year's AFC title game at New England when he hammered Patriots running back Stevan Ridley and appeared to knock Ridley out cold.
Pollard, who has been hit with his share of fines over the years, has been outspoken at times in his criticism of the league's disciplinary system, saying offensive players aren't held to nearly the same standard as defensive players.
The Ravens on Tuesday re-signed safety James Ihedigbo, and now he appears to be the likely starter at strong safety. The Ravens other starting safety, Ed Reed, remains a free agent.
The Ravens already had lost two other starters -- linebackers Paul Kruger (to the Browns) and Dannell Ellerbe (to the Dolphins) -- on the first day of free agency, not counting Ray Lewis' retirement. If Reed does not return, the Ravens will have lost both starting inside linebackers and both starting safeties.