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Could the Ravens Cut Bryant McKinnie?

Cutting McKinnie Could Provide the Ravens with some Cap Relief.

The Ravens Offensive Line is one of the biggest question marks heading into the 2012 season. Seemingly the whole left side is in a state of change for one reason or another.

First, Baltimore must figure out who replaces Ben Grubbs, the former First Round pick who signed with New Orleans. Hopefully the recent signing of 13-year vet Bobbie Williams will solve that problem, plus they also drafted massive Kelechi Osemele who is learning both the Guard and Tackle positions could be another option.

The other problem is Left Tackle. The Ravens paid left tackle Bryant McKinnie a $500,000 roster bonus in March, but he reportedly struggled with his conditioning in the offseason program, prompting the team to hold him out of mini camp. McKinnie appears to be having trouble maintaining weight and reportedly needs to shed more (about ten pounds) to get where the team would wants him to be.

He also is scheduled to make $3.2 million in base salary and with the Ravens being so cash strapped under the cap at the moment McKinnie might be a released.

However I think that also depends on how the other options perform in Training Camp.

Is Jah Reid ready to become an NFL starter? He was active for every game in 2011 and was used mostly in Jumbo packages. Reports are that he looked stronger in OTAs but he suffered a strained back which forced him to miss time.

Can the rookie Osemele step in and play right away? The young man is tremendously powerful but it remains to be seen if the second round pick is ready right now.

The Ravens could always swing Michael Oher back to the Left side if they had to, which means that Reid or Osemele gets to start on the right.

If none of these options seem like the answer in July and August then I’d expect the Ravens to hold on to McKinnie. He was excellent as a pass blocker and played in every game last year. The staff would like to see him more active in the running game and better mobility would certainly help him get to the second level on blocking assignments.

So besides McKinnie controlling his weight his future will most likely depend on how other players perform once Camp cranks up in the next few weeks.

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