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Baltimore Ravens: First Round of Cuts Brings Necessary Surprises

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COMMENTARY | On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens announced their first set of roster cuts as they work toward reaching the required roster limit of 75 players by Tuesday.

The roster currently stands at 78 players, as 12 players were released and one player -- outside linebacker Adrian Hamilton -- was placed on injured reserve.

The Ravens also signed quarterback Dayne Crist, who is just an emergency backup for Thursday's game against the St. Louis Rams. Of the 12 cuts, the biggest surprises were wide receiver Tommy Streeter, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and offensive lineman Ramon Harewood.

All three were surprises this early in the roster-cut process, but they were necessary roster decisions as all three failed to live up to expectations during their short-lived times in Baltimore.

Shiancoe, who was signed after Dennis Pitta suffered a possible season-ending hip injury, played more than any other Ravens tight end in the first three preseason games. However, he may have been the worst tight end, with the exception of Alex Silvestro, who has played just six offensive snaps so far in the preseason.

Drops were a consistent theme for Shiancoe, and his issues with catching the ball made it obvious from the beginning that he likely had a slim chance of making the team.

With a group of inconsistent receivers, the last thing the Ravens needed was a tight end who couldn't catch.

Speaking of inconsistent receivers, Streeter was cut as well, and he barely lasted more than a year in Baltimore despite being a sixth-round pick in 2012. The 6-foot-5-inch receiver's potential was as high as any receiver the Ravens had drafted in recent memory. However, that never translated to on-field success.

After being placed on injured reserve last season, expectations were for Streeter's potential to finally come to fruition this season, although that was far from the case. He barely touched the field in the first three preseason games, and he's just another statistic in a long line of misses by general manager Ozzie Newsome on drafted wide receivers.

Harewood may have been the most surprising release on Sunday, as the fourth-year lineman started five games last year and had a chance to make the roster again this season. The former sixth-round pick had an uphill battle to make the team after the Ravens drafted lineman Ricky Wagner in April's draft. Harewood was going to fall victim to a numbers game along the offensive line, so perhaps his release was the Ravens' benign decision to give Harewood a shot at latching on elsewhere.

Other notable cuts include running back Damien Berry and cornerback Moe Lee.

The decision to cut Lee likely means the Ravens are sold on rookie Marc Anthony as the fifth cornerback this season. Signing a cornerback cut by another team this week may also be in the Ravens' plans, however.

Ultimately, the Ravens had to part ways with players who had roster potential a few weeks ago but simply couldn't keep up with the competition.

Kyle Casey is a sports writer living in Baltimore, Md. He contributes to various football sites and is the editor of Cat Crave.

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