As expected, the Ravens have terminated the contract of defensive end Chris Canty just two days after cutting wide receiver Jacoby Jones.
The move was widely figured to happen quickly as the Ravens need to free up salary cap space before free agency starts. With the salary cap expected to be roughly $143 million this year, the Ravens are right up against the cap limit and have more pressing needs. Canty's contract was a $3.3 million cap hit and will free up about $2.6 million now that he his no longer on the roster.
Canty was a classy player that kept his nose clean and just like a lot of quiet Ravens players over the years, he was the quintessential Raven player. General manager Ozzie Newsome had this to say in a statement:
"I had a conversation with Chris this morning and thanked him for his contributions both on and off the field. He represents the best of what a Ravens’ player is: committed on the field and a shining leader in the community. We thank him for everything he did for us the last two seasons. I know that Chris still wants to explore playing again, and he’s preparing to do that. We certainly would not close the door to Chris coming back to us."
Going into the offseason, fans were unsure if Canty would retire at 32 years old as he's set to enter his 11th year as a pro. After entering the league in 2005 as a fourth-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys, he left to play three seasons with the New York Giants before signing on with the Ravens in 2013. Canty was a quality starter and good mentor to the younger Raven defensive linemen. Last year alone, he had 33 tackles, two passes defended and a half a sack. Over his career, he has 335 tackles, 21.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 18 passes defended.
As a testament to the type of player Canty was, coach Harbaugh had this to say:
"We are a better franchise for having Chris Canty with us the last two years. He added maturity and leadership. Chris played well and played a lot of snaps for us, especially last season. He was an outstanding contributor to our playoff season in 2014.
"When we were handling serious off-the-field issues last season, Chris stood out internally with our team and represented us externally in the only way you expect from Chris - with intelligence and in a first-class manner."