Todd Heap and Derrick Mason Cut by Baltimore Ravens

Nate ScacciaAnalyst IIIJuly 25, 2011

Todd Heap makes a catch against the Cleveland Browns. September 26th, 2010
Todd Heap makes a catch against the Cleveland Browns. September 26th, 2010

Just in case you have been living under a rock the past few hours, the NFL lockout was finally settled earlier today. Players can now return to the team facilities and begin to enter training camps and get their playbooks. The players can get back to what they love and we the fans can get back to watching some NFL Football.

With the players returning and business getting back to the norm, organizations have begun looking at their rosters and are planning for free agency and ways to make some cap room. The Baltimore Ravens are just like every other team. They have made some roster cuts and are ready for free agency.

The only problem? The Ravens cut one of the top tight ends in the NFL in Todd Heap. Not only that, but they also cut wide receiver Derrick Mason who is certainly a talented receiver. Why the surprising cuts? It appears that the Baltimore Ravens are in need of cap room and are looking to make a few big hires. Rumors have been circulating that the Ravens are interested in cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

Asomugha is a very talented cornerback and would definitely be a great acquisition to the Ravens if they are in fact interested and sign him to a contract. But why cut stars Todd Heap and Derrick Mason to make room for Asomugha? After all, it is not guaranteed that he will sign with the Ravens.

The Ravens are looking to get younger and faster. Todd Heap joined the Ravens in 2001 and was a crowd favorite. Derrick Mason was relatively new to the team as he joined in 2005. Both of the guys are older and would be expected to lose a step or two in terms of speed. The Ravens drafted tight end Dennis Pitta in the 2011 NFL Draft. But can he be expected to fill in for Heap?

What do the Ravens do about the gap at receiver? Anquan Boldin will be the No. 1 guy and he should do just fine and the Ravens could possibly go after Santonio Holmes to fill in the gaps.

Currently, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte Stallworth. All of these guys have been in the league for nine-plus years. But Houshmandzadeh's skills are a question mark for me at this point in his career and Stallworth is possibly looking into signing with the Patriots—so he is a question mark as well.

The Ravens also cut running back Willis McGahee and nose tackle Kelly Gregg.