Sport

Baltimore Ravens sign OL James Hurst, release Lardarius Webb

Baltimore Ravens sign OL James Hurst, release Lardarius Webb

The Ravens announced the deal shortly after noon Monday, the beginning of the NFL's legal tampering period when teams can contact soon-to-be free agents.

A lightning rod for criticism from fans, Hurst was maligned for being pushed back into quarterback Joe Flacco during a November 2015 game against the St. Louis Rams.

"This is good news for our football team", head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. "He has started at both tackle and guard, and all he has been is productive and someone who has made us better". He started at left guard in 15 games and at left tackle on November 19 against Green Bay, subbing for the injured Ronnie Stanley.

Hurst, 26, is primarily a left guard but has the versatility to play other positions in the front five.

If he moves back to tackle, it would leave current starter Austin Howard on the outside looking in. He made one start at right tackle the previous season.

Hurst started all 16 games in 2017, 15 of them at left guard after Lewis' season-ending shoulder surgery and one of them at left tackle when Ronnie Stanley was out with a concussion.




A third-round pick in 2009, Webb converted from cornerback to free safety before the 2016 season.

From that point on, Webb became a mainstay in Baltimore's secondary, although he missed the Ravens' run to a Super Bowl title during the 2012-13 campaign due to a torn ACL he suffered in Week 6 of that year. Strong in run support throughout his career, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Webb totaled 475 tackles, 15 interceptions, five sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Webb was a longtime fixture in Baltimore's defense.

The Ravens are coming off a 2017-18 campaign in which Baltimore won nine regular-season games and missed out on the postseason.

Releasing Webb for the second consecutive offseason saves the Ravens $1.75 million against the 2018 salary cap. However, Webb finally lost his starting job this past season.

Starting center Ryan Jensen is a pending free agent.


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