Ravens cut Melvin, Babin to shake up roster


Dealing with immense struggles and injuries in their secondary, the Ravens shook up their 53-man roster with a series of movies on Tuesday afternoon.
In addition to announcing the signing of veteran cornerback Shareece Wright, the Ravens cut veteran outside linebacker Jason Babin and third-cornerback Rashaan Melvin and promoted cornerbacks Asa Jackson and Charles James from the practice squad to the active roster. Baltimore also placed injured cornerback Will Davis (knee) on injured reserve.
Signed to provide help to the pass rush following the season-ending Achilles injury to Terrell Suggs in the season opener, Babin was inactive for two weeks before making little impact in two games. Playing 22 snaps in Sunday’s overtime loss to Cleveland, the 35-year-old committed three penalties and showed no ability to shed a block trying to contain a screen pass on a third-and-8 play in the second quarter.
Babin’s termination leaves the Ravens with just two healthy outside linebackers — Courtney Upshaw and Za’Darius Smith — after Elvis Dumervil left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Veteran inside linebacker Albert McClellan can also play outside and has done so this season.
The decision to waive Melvin was a little more surprising after coaches had sung his praises in the spring and summer. A series of injuries at cornerback late last season forced Melvin into a starting role, and he played admirably for a few games until being burned repeatedly by Tom Brady in the divisional-round playoff loss to New England.
Despite playing well early in the summer, the 6-foot-2 cornerback was slowed by a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the first two seeks of the regular season. Making his 2015 debut as Baltimore’s No. 3 cornerback in Week 3, Melvin committed three penalties and struggled mightily in coverage before being benched after 17 snaps.
He was inactive in each of the last two games.
With Lardarius Webb leaving Sunday’s loss with a hamstring injury and Davis suffering a torn ACL, the Ravens were once again thin at cornerback, but Jackson and James provide more depth to the group. A 2012 fifth-round pick, the 5-foot-10 Jackson was cut by the Ravens at the end of the preseason and spent a brief time with the New York Giants before landing on Baltimore’s practice squad.
James was most recently with the Houston Texans and received plenty of attention for his colorful personality on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series. The 5-foot-9 defensive back appeared in 12 games for the New York Giants in 2013, making four tackles.
To fill vacant spots on their practice squad, the Ravens signed wide receiver Daniel Brown, tight end Konrad Reuland, and running back Akeem Hunt. Brown and Reuland were with the Ravens in training camp and the preseason.