The Ravens are out of the playoffs for the first time in years, but fifteen former Ravens are still playing.
One of the fifteen is veteran Steeler linebacker James Harrison. Pittsburgh originally signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2002, and when the Steelers cut him, the Ravens signed him and sent him to play for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. The Ravens are probably still kicking themselves for cutting him loose, but the team can probably be forgiven for letting him go. The rumor is that he was all but uncoachable as a young player and that it took being cut twice to get him to listen.
The other fourteen players fall into four categories: young players who are trying to establish themselves, older players who have played for a number of teams including the Ravens, kickers, and players the Ravens gave up on who have found homes elsewhere.
The four young players are guard Robert Myers (Broncos), guard/center Nick Easton (Vikings), quarterback Keith Wenning (Bengals), and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Steelers). Myers was a 2015 fifth round draft pick for the Ravens, but he was an unpolished product from a small school and didn't make the final roster cut. Easton was a promising undrafted rookie free agent. The Ravens didn't have a roster spot for him, so they traded him to the 49ers who trade him to the Vikings. Wenning was a 2014 sixth round draft pick for the Ravens that Cincinnati signed to back up A.J. McCarron when Andy Dalton was injured. Toussaint is the only one of the four who has actually gotten snaps. From a purely selfish standpoint, it will be a shame if they develop into good players down the road, but the Ravens only have so many roster spot.
The four veterans are defensive tackle Cory Redding (Cardinals), tight end Owen Daniels (Broncos), tight end Ed Dickson (Panthers), and quarterback Derek Anderson (Panthers). The Ravens would have liked to have kept all four, but Redding was offered more money than the Ravens could pay, Daniels was offered more money and an opportunity to follow coach Gary Kubiak to Denver, and Dickson was offered better opportunities in Carolina. Derek Anderson is a special case. The Ravens drafted him in the sixth round in 2005 and tried to hide him on the practice squad, but the Browns snatched him away. He is now a respected backup.
The two kickers are Steven Hauschka (Seahawks) and Graham Gano (Panthers). In 2008 when Matt Stover's career was coming to an end, the Ravens signed Hauschka to handle kickoff duties, and in 2009, the team let Hauschka and Gano compete to become Stover's replacement. Hauschka won, but played poorly and got himself cut. Hauschka and Gano bounced around the NFL and the United Football League before they eventually found homes in Seattle and Carolina. The Ravens can be forgiven for cutting Hauschka. He can kick a field goal from any distance, but he can also miss from any distance, and this year he missed five extra points.
The four players the Ravens gave up on are guard/center A.Q. Shipley (Cardinals), running back/special teams ace Cedric Peerman (Bengals), linebacker John Simon (Texas), and offensive tackle Jah Reid (Chiefs). Shipley is a journeyman who is a backup for Arizona, but the other three all play key rolls for their teams. Peerman, a 2009 Ravens sixth round pick, is the special teams captain for the Bengals and was named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl as a special teamer. Simon, a 2013 Ravens fourth round draft pick, has started eight games for the Texans this year and is third on the team in sacks with five. Five sacks are easy to acquire when playing with Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt, but five sacks are five sacks. Reid, a 2011 Ravens third round draft pick, has started ten games for the Chiefs since the Ravens cut him in September. Pro Football Focus has consistently given his play poor grades, but the Chiefs have won nine of the ten games he has started this year.
Peerman is ancient history, but it would have been nice if the Ravens had found a use for Simon and Reid.