Late Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens officially announced they are parting ways with veteran cornerback Tavon Young.
Young, 27, was drafted by the Ravens in fourth round of 2016 draft out of Temple University. He started 11 games in his rookie season and exceeded expectations. Unfortunately, his sophomore season was cut short during OTAs when he suffered a torn ACL injury.
He returned in 2018 and appeared in 15 games, drawing six starts, and looked like his rookie-year self despite playing through a sports hernia injury. Young made 37 combined tackles that season, recorded an interception and recovered two fumbles for touchdowns.
In February 2019, prior to Young’s fourth season — the final of his rookie contract — the Ravens made him the league’s highest-paid slot corner. They rewarded him with a three-year contract extension worth more than $25 million. At the time, this seemed like a good proactive move to lock up an ascending talent before he could hit the open market.
Then, just months later in the preseason, Young suffered a neck injury that forced him to miss the entire 2019 season. He miraculously returned in 2020, much to everyone’s delight, but again fell victim to bad injury luck. He sustained another torn ACL injury in Week 2 of 2020, effectively his third season-ending setback in the span of five years.
This past season was very much a make-or-break for Young. To his credit, he was active for every regular season game for the first time in his career. Young appeared on the injury report a few times but drew seven starts and was an important defensive piece down the stretch amidst a myriad of injuries in the Ravens’ secondary.
2022 was set to be the final season of Young’s previous three-year extension. His base salary was going to be just under $6 million but he was going to count over $9 million against the cap. By releasing him, the Ravens are freeing up $5.845 million in cap space ahead of free agency, which is just about a week away.
Release of CB Tavon Young creates $5.845M in Cap space & the retirement of OT Alejandro Viilanueva creates $6M, so both are big pieces of much needed Cap space.— Brian McFarland (@RavensSalaryCap) March 9, 2022
Young is highly-respected within the organization and fanbase. He was honored as the Ravens’ recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award in 2021, a nod to his ability to overcome adversity. If not for a slew of crushing injuries throughout his tenure in Baltimore, Young’s Ravens’ career surely would have looked much different.
In six seasons, Young played 50 games and totaled 24 starts, 127 combined tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
He shared his gratitude towards Baltimore on Twitter shortly after the news broke:
Thank you Baltimore, Love from my side forever— Tavon Young (@TY_Real1) March 9, 2022