OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens created $4.8 million in much-needed salary cap room by releasing running back Danny Woodhead and not picking up the option on starting right tackle Austin Howard on Tuesday, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Woodhead, 33,managed 200 yards receiving and 56 yards rushing in eight games. Baltimore never really figured out how to properly use Woodhead, and part of that problem traces back to the hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for most of the first half of the season.
Baltimore created $1.8 million by parting ways with Woodhead. The Ravens thought so highly of Woodhead that they made him their first free-agent addition on offense last offseason. Baltimore signed Woodhead to a three-year, $8.8 million deal, reportedly beating out the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers for him.
On his first drive with Baltimore, he caught three passes for 33 yards (including a one-handed reception) and ran once for 4 yards. That’s when he aggravated a hamstring injury and was eventually placed on injured reserve. He didn’t return until Nov. 19.
With Woodhead gone, it opens up more chances for Kenneth Dixon, who missed all of last year with knee injury along with two suspensions.
Like Woodhead, Howard is gone after one season with Baltimore. The Ravens freed up $3 million of cap space in a move that was anticipated after Baltimore re-signed James Hurst to a four-year, $17.5 million contract on Monday. Baltimore is expected to fill the right tackle spot with either Hurst, Alex Lewis or a draft pick. Howard did an admirable job replacing Rick Wagner, but he ultimately proved to be a one-year stop gap at right tackle. Howard, 30, gutted it out to start every game for the Ravens last season while battling a knee injury. This means the Ravens will have a new starting right tackle for the third straight year.
The Ravens entered this week ranking among the teams with the least amount of cap room. Baltimore had $6.1 million in cap space before parting ways with Woodhead and Howard, according to ESPN.
Both moves were first reported by the NFL Network.