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Baltimore Ravens decline to pick up Chris Canty's option

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of free agency rapidly approaching, the Baltimore Ravens have began releasing players who are not in their plans for 2016. It began with a stalwart at inside linebacker, Daryl Smith. Now the Ravens have moved on, declining the option in the contract of veteran defensive end Chris Canty:

Although it is the contract is structured in a way that calls this declining his option, for all intents and purposes this is the Ravens releasing Canty. The 11 year veteran out of Virginia was a solid lineman for the Ravens over the past 3 seasons, and was one of the teams first signings in an attempt to reload following their last Lombardi. His declined option saves $2 million in cap space, bringing the total room the Ravens have created with releases and Joe Flacco's extension to about $10.5 million. More releases are anticipated, so that number is likely to rise.

The Ravens have already replenished the cupboard on the defensive line, with nose tackle Brandon Williams at the top of his position, Timmy Jernigan ascending especially as a pass rusher, and Carl Davis, Lawrence Guy, and Brent Urban all showing flashes of their abilities. They will likely add another player or 2 on the line to improve the depth, but if they entered with those five players as their top 5 at the position it would not be shocking.