Ravens part ways with Foxworth
Domonique Foxworth's frustrating and painful tenure with the Baltimore Ravens reached an unsurprising end Monday afternoon.
Still dealing with problems with his surgically-repaired right knee suffered two years ago, the veteran cornerback was released after he failed his physical.
The combination of his ailing health and a $5.6 million scheduled base salary for next season and an accompanying $8.6 million salary-cap figure ultimately spelled the end for Foxworth in Baltimore.
The former University of Maryland standout and Randallstown native only played in two games over the past two seasons due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in a non-contact drill at McDaniel College one day before the official start of training camp two years ago.
"We appreciate all Domonique did for us the past three years, both with his play and his important leadership off the field," said general manager Ozzie Newsome, who met with Foxworth last Thursday at team headquarters. "This does not preclude us from bringing back Domonique at a later date."
That's true, but a Foxworth comeback is regarded as extremely unlikely due to the damage his knee has sustained and his bright future in the players' union leadership.
Foxworth, 28, was instrumental in the negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement last year, and he's the youngest member of the executive committee in the history of the NFL Players Association.
He's expected to retire and pursue a post-football career with the union.
Plus, the Ravens are well-stocked at cornerback with starters Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams and nickel back Jimmy Smith. Smith was drafted in the first round last April. Webb and Williams are expected to be retained by Baltimore with $2.7 million first-round restricted tenders.
Signed to a four-year, $27.2 million contract in 2008, Foxworth only started 16 games in three seasons.
He recorded 64 tackles, four interceptions, 21 pass deflections and one fumble recovery.
A former third-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos, Foxworth also played one season for the Atlanta Falcons before signing with the Ravens.
Foxworth acknowledged during the season after allowing a touchdown pass to Tennessee Titans cornerback Kenny Britt that his knee was still bothering him and causing him to play conservatively. He was placed on injured reserve after two ineffective games.
"The more I do, the worse it gets," Foxworth said. "It hurts, it sucks. I had a lot of pain during camp. It's still hurting. This is where we are. When I'm out there I want to make plays, but when you're out there in pain, you're kind of trying not to 'F' things up.
"You end up playing conservatively because you don't want to let people down and you're still letting people down. So, it feels like you're in a lose-lose sometimes. You stay confident and keep fighting and do whatever's asked of me. To not be able to do it, it's frustrating."
In his best season with the Ravens, Foxworth recorded four interceptions and deflected 16 passes during the 2009 season.
Foxworth indicated that his rehabilitation was affected by the NFL lockout where he had to work out without supervision. The former Western Tech player also was involved in the labor talks and usually only had time to rehab once per day.
"Towards the end of my first year here, I was playing really well and I was feeling confident," said Foxworth, who recorded 24 pass deflections, three interceptions and three forced fumbles during three seasons with the Broncos. "It's frustrating to not feel as good as I want to feel to make plays and have all these great players depending on you to step up and play the way they know you're capable of and not be able to do it is frustrating."
Terrell Suggs' uniform on display at Hall of Fame
OWINGS MILLS -- It remains to be seen if Canton will come calling one day for Baltimore Ravens five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
However, the athletic gear that he donned last season while earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors has already arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Suggs' helmet, purple jersey, cleats, pants and socks are now on display at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
"We appreciate Terrell and the Ravens sending these mementos to us," Pro Football Hall of Fame curator Jason Aikens said. "This helps us achieve our mission of preserving the game's great history and the players who've made an impact on the game."
Suggs recorded a career-high 14 sacks last season and set a franchise record with seven forced fumbles, also intercepting two passes for the Ravens' second-ranked defense.
He garnered 21 of 50 votes from an Associated Press balloting to beat out Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen for the Defensive Player of the Year award, which has previously been won by Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis twice and free safety Ed Reed once.
Among the previous members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award since it was initiated in 1971: Alan Page (1971), Joe Greene (1972, 1974), Mel Blount (1975), Jack Lambert (1976), Lee Roy Selmon (1979), Lawrence Taylor (1981, 1982, 1986), Mike Singletary (1985, 1988), Reggie White (1987, 1998), Bruce Smith (1990, 1996), Cortez Kennedy (1992), Rod Woodson (1993), and Deion Sanders (1994).
"Terrell Suggs is a premier player," coach John Harbaugh said last season. "He's one of the best players in the NFL. He's one of the premier defensive players that everybody game-plans around. He gets blocked every different kind of way a guy can get blocked.
"He still finds a way to make plays. Plus, he's one of the best leaders I've been around. This guy is one of the hardest working guys I've ever been around. He's part of the heart and soul of our team and our defense."
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