When the Baltimore Ravens released WR Lee Evans and CB Chris Carr earlier this past week, it was expected that CB Domonique Foxworth's name would be added to that group. The Ravens veteran cornerback is due around $7 million in 2012 and with the Ravens relatively tight with the salary cap, one would expect the announcement of his release to come any minute now.
After playing all 16 games in 2009, his first season in Baltimore, Foxworth tore his ACL at the beginning of Training Camp in 2010. After trying to return in 2011, the team shut him down for the season as it was obvious his knee had not healed. Now, while the team awaits word of his recovery status, he is still a member of the Ravens and the team is not dead set on letting him go. According to a story on CSNWashington.com, Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com says the team is about to put Foxworth through a physical to see where is is at, health-wise.
This doesn't seem to make sense, as the Ravens are obviously set at starting cornerback with Lardarius Webb and more than likely the 2nd year Jimmy Smith, with Cary Williams right there making the them well ahead of Foxworth should he be retained. With his injury status unclear, why in the world would the team take the risk when they already have youth on their side and a couple of other players waiting in the wings to provide additional depth?
The thought appears to be the veteran status and leadership potential that Foxworth brings to the position group as well as the locker room. Based on his role as a member of the NFL Players Association's Executive Committee, Foxworth played an integral role in the negotiations to end the NFL Lockout that lasted well into the summer and almost resulted in a delay to the regular season.
However, with the team having the 4th ranked pass defense and the thought that the team is pretty much set in the secondary, to retain a guy who has not played since the end of the 2009 season just does not make any sense to this writer. Perhaps the team will release Foxworth rather than committing to the $7 million payday he would be due and instead work out an agreement to keep him in a Ravens uniform this coming season.
With the thought that Foxwroth went to high school in the area and atended the University of Maryland, a feeling that he would give the team a discount and take whatever offer they give him to permit him and his family to remain in their hometown might be the key point in this situation. If he stays here at a minimum expense to the team by proving his knee is good enough to hit the field running this summer, then perhaps his veteran presence could end up being a benefit to the young defensive backs on the Ravens.