Ravens part ways with 11, including Araguz, Green
Rimpf placed on IR
By Aaron Wilson
Contributing writer
OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens began trimming their roster down Friday prior to today’s league-mandated 53-man limit, terminating the contract of veteran punter Leo Araguz, cutting 10 players and placing offensive guard Brian Rimpf on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
That leaves Baltimore with 10 more transactions to execute by 4 p.m., the NFL deadline.
In perhaps their most prominent move, the Ravens released linebacker Roderick Green, a fifth-round draft pick in 2004 who has performed well on special teams and as a situational pass rusher.
Last season, Green registered a career-high 17 special-teams tackles and two sacks while playing in all 16 games.
Meanwhile, Baltimore waived defensive tackle Remi Ayodele, tight end Bobby Blizzard, safety Robb Butler, linebacker Jimmy Cottrell, offensive tackle Rob Droege, kicker Aaron Elling, wide receiver Travis LaTendresse, center Thatcher Szalay and defensive back Duvol Thompson.
Elling’s departure is yet another indication that rookie Sam Koch will handle kickoff duties in addition to having beaten out Araguz for the punting job.
The sixth-round draft pick from Nebraska averaged 45.1 yards on 16 punts compared to Araguz’ output of a 37.7 average on 16 punts. Besides his hang-time, Koch also proved to be capable on kickoffs.
“I thought I did really well,” Koch said. “It comes down to someone else’s decision and hopefully I put some trust in their minds.”
Against the Redskins, Koch averaged 52.2 yards on four punts while Araguz averaged 34 yards on three punts.
“He’s consistently shown a lot,” Billick said of Koch, who also kicked off three times without incident at FedEx Field. “The ability to do both is a big asset.”
Koch and his family want to make their residence in Westminster, where they’re currently renting a house, a permanent one.
“We’ll probably keep on renting for now,” Koch said. “But there’s always the possibility of buying a home if everything goes right. I'm very optimistic.”
Placing Rimpf on injured reserve after he started seven games last season at right guard and cutting Szalay likely means that the Ravens are counting on the versatility of reserve interior blockers Jason Brown and Chris Chester.
The Ravens also reached injury settlements with safety B.J. Ward and receiver Matt Cherry, who were placed on injured reserve earlier this week.