The Baltimore Ravens cut Will Hill in an attempt to free up some cap space. Hill only counted for $2.84 million against the cap, so this is a bit of a head scratcher. The move seemingly allows Eric Weddle to take over Hill’s former spot while playing next to either Lardarius Webb or Kendrick Lewis.
Hill was easily the best safety on the Ravens, even with the addition of Eric Weddle. He finished as a top 20 player among 88 qualified safeties last season. He was at his best when defending the run or rushing the QB. That’s a skill set that few safeties can match. In fact, only 3 safeties in the NFL graded out better at both skills. Somehow, Ozzie Newsome decided that Hill wasn’t worth the cost.
Hill has always been known for his talent on the field, but teams have been concerned with his off field issues. I haven’t recently heard of any new issues, so I would assume that Hill is simply a cap casualty. It’s sad to see a player go who the Ravens took a chance on and saw immediate dividends.
Aside from being one of the better safeties in the league during 2015, Hill may have had the most exciting play of the year when he returned a blocked field goal for a TD as time ran out. He’s a great player who should do well on any team that wants to sign him. We all know that the NFL is a business and that the cap is a huge part of how that business runs, but there were easier cuts to make than a top-20 safety who only earns $2.84 million.
Here are a few alternative plans Baltimore could have gone with: Lardarius Webb was a good safety last year but struggled as a corner. He’s going cost $9.5 million against the cap. Designating him as a post June 1 cut would save the Ravens $6.5 million. Dennis Pitta is a fan favorite who has a $7.2 million cap hit this year. Designating him as a post June 1 cut would save the Ravens $5 million. As much as I’d hate to see him go, it’s tough to justify $5 million per season for the next four years with his injury history.
In the end, the Ravens should be ok with Webb at safety. They could also, potentially, draft Jalen Ramsey who may be a great safety in the NFL. But, there are better ways to save money than cutting a great safety who compliments Weddle so well.
News just broke that Will Hill has been suspended for 10 games due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This makes the ravens move look a lot better as they saved $2.84 million by getting rid of a guy who will miss most of the season anyway.