The Ravens released Chris McAlister today.
The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of CB Chris McAlister this afternoon, it was announced by Ozzie Newsome, the team’s general manager and executive vice president.
McAlister, a 3-time Pro Bowl standout, played 10 seasons for the Ravens after being selected in the 1st round (10th pick) in the 1999 draft. A starter on the 2000 Super Bowl championship Baltimore team, “C-Mac” produced 26 career interceptions, good for 3rd place on the team’s all-time list (behind Ed Reed, 43, and Ray Lewis, 28.) He scored 7 career touchdowns – 6 by interceptions and 1 on a missed field goal, which set a then NFL record for longest play (107 yards).
McAlister, who will be 32 in June, played in 6 games in 2008, starting 5, before being placed on Injured Reserve with a knee injury on 11/11. Before being hurt, Chris stole 3 passes and made 19 tackles (17 solo).
“First, we want to thank Chris for all he did for the Ravens in the past 10 years,” Newsome explained. “He was a major contributor to many big wins, including the Super Bowl. To play the type of defense we have used here, you have to have corners who can cover one-on-one. He was one of the best at that for us. He was physical and he could run with the best.”
“All of us who had the opportunity to coach Chris for the first time this season have an appreciation for all the good things he did for this team through the years,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’ll be remembered by us and the fans as one of the best to ever play for the Ravens. He’s a tough guy and he loves football. He’ll play again and he’ll play well.”
The move saves the team about $8-9 million of cap space for 2009. McAlister butted heads a bit with the new regime, and only appeared in a handful of games in his final season in purple, before being placed on IR.
This move is really a surprise to nobody, but it still feels a bit strange now that it’s offical. There could, of course, be some even stranger feelings in the near future regarding departed Ravens though, once free agency starts in 11 days.