Notebook: Ravens cut Vincent

Notebook: Ravens cut Vincent

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens cut ties with former starting offensive guard Keydrick Vincent on Tuesday morning, formally ending a three-year tenure that was foreshadowed in April when the team selected Ben Grubbs in the first round. Vincent, was due to make $1.6 million and had been demoted from the starting lineup at right guard and shifted to the left side behind Jason Brown.

If Vincent had been on the team after the final roster cutdown this weekend, his salary for the year would have been guaranteed as a vested veteran.

The Ravens saved $1.24 million against the salary cap by releasing Vincent, who started 21 games for Baltimore .

"They said they were going with younger players and wanted to give me a chance to start somewhere else," Vincent said in a telephone interview. "Ozzie Newsome said they had tried to trade me, but nothing worked out. I'm going to go home and weigh my options.

"I wanted to be on this team, but I will have to move on. It's one of those things where it's out of your hands. I was pretty surprised, but the NFL is a business."

However, money wasn't the only reason the team parted ways with Vincent.

Although Vincent had recovered from offseason sports hernia surgery, the team was instituting a youth movement with Grubbs and former second-round pick Chris Chester competing for the right guard job.

"We've got good numbers inside," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "It always comes down to a numbers game. Keydrick had a good camp for us. He worked hard, but we've got a lot of good, young players on the inside and we have some latitude in it."

Added Vincent: "They think these young guys are ready, so they're going with them. I think it goes deeper than them drafting someone in the first round. That's just how I feel."

Vincent signed a three-year, $4.64 million contract in 2004 that included a $1.25 million signing bonus after starting one season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but injuries and a slow adjustment to the Ravens' system curtailed his progress in Baltimore.

The New York Jets, who recently traded disgruntled veteran Pete Kendall to the Washington Redskins, have been rumored to be interested in Vincent, who said he would be interested in talking with them.

"I'm just packing my stuff and going back to Florida ," Vincent said. "I'm going to talk with my agent and figure out what to do next. I don't feel like the people in Baltimore ever really saw what I could do when I'm fully healthy, but it's time to move on."

Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden spoke to Vincent shortly after he was cut.

"It's going to happen to everybody," Ogden said. "You either retire or they cut you. That's pretty much the only way out of this game."

Meanwhile, Vincent's departure could ensure the retention of fourth-year lineman Brian Rimpf as a backup.

"I haven't been told anything, but it's weird losing somebody whose locker was right next to you," Rimpf said. "He's a personality, I'll tell you that."

SEASON OVER: Second-year running back P.J. Daniels, who has missed the majority of the preseason with a tweaked hamstring, was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

A fourth-round pick last year, Daniels didn't play in any games last season as a rookie.

"We have excellent depth at the running back position," said Billick, who praised reserve runner Cory Ross. "So, that's something we can absorb. Hate to lose P.J., but he'll be back with us starting in the offseason."

INJURY UPDATE: Not practicing: cornerback Samari Rolle (sprained ankle), wide receiver Mark Clayton (ankle), linebacker Antwan Barnes (sprained ankle) and safety Ed Reed (thigh contusion).

Rolle and Clayton are out until the season opener, and Barnes and Reed are definite question marks for Friday's preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

Linebacker Mike Smith, who remains on the physically unable to perform list along with Dan Cody, said his shoulder feels much better after undergoing arthroscopic surgery prior to training camp.

"This is the best I've felt," said Smith, who will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. "It's hard because the season is coming up and I had that surgery and tried to rush back. I didn't have time to rest. Six weeks is plenty of time to get it right, rehab and hit it hard in the weight room."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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