Fan Commentary: Thanks Pete

Ravens fans everywhere are talking about the departure of Line Backer/Pass Rush Specialist Peter Boulware who was released yesterday by the Baltimore Ravens. Regular RavensInsider Fan Commentator Steve DeClue chimes in with his take.

Peter Boulware, no longer a Raven. It's kind of hard to say, but I guess deep down we all thought there was a chance that the team would release him.

I really wanted to see Boulware come back. I know he was expected to make six million dollars this year, the most of any player on the team. But Boulware always seemed like a good guy, always hustled and played hurt. I thought, or at least hoped, that Boulware was finally healed, and we could see glimpses of that player who was once one of the top pass rushers in the league.

The 1997 first round draft pick was a solid player throughout his career with the Ravens, battling shoulder and then knee injuries before being forced to sit out all of last season. He was a quarterback's worst nightmare, and after Michael McCrary retired, became the sole sack threat on the Ravens defensive line.

He registered 11 sacks in 1997 and was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played much of the 1999 season in a shoulder harness, limiting his ability on the field but certainly not his tenacity. He still managed to finish that year with 10 sacks and won the Ed Block Courage Award.

He went to four Pro Bowls and finished his career as a Raven with a franchise record 67 sacks. His best year might have been 2001, when he finished with 15 sacks, second most in the NFL.

Boulware probably could have had even better numbers had he been teamed with better defensive lineman over his last couple of years with the Ravens. With no other major threats to get after the quarterback, Boulware constantly faced double-teams. You never heard Boulware complain or take a play off though.

This is really the first time I can recall the Ravens cutting a player I really liked, a guy I didn't want to see depart. I guess it was just time for both parties to move on.

You have to commend the Ravens for being a stand-up organization. Instead of waiting until the June 1st deadline to cut Boulware, the team released him now, allowing him a chance to explore his options in the open market and catch on with another NFL team. A classy move by Ozzie Newsome, who obviously thought very highly of Boulware.

And so I send out a big thank you to Peter Boulware for his effort and hard work over the last eight seasons with the Ravens and for helping to bring a championship back to Baltimore. Good luck Pete. Your contributions will not be forgotten.

Steve DeClue is a Ravens fan and University of Maryland Student. If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on RavensInsider.Com

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