All last season, the Ravens waited for outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to return to the field. Now, if they see him again, it won’t be in a Ravens jersey.

The Ravens are cutting the seven-year veteran. Bowser posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to thank the city. “Forever grateful for your love and support over the past 7 years,” he wrote.

View post on Twitter

Bowser, a second-round pick in the 2017 draft, was a starter in all 17 games of the 2021 season but played only nine in 2022. Due to a mysterious knee injury suffered before the season started, Bowser did not play in 2023.

The move frees $5.5 million in salary cap space, which is what Bowser was set to make for his 2024 base salary. His release will create $2 million in dead money, and it comes hours before the start of the new league year, at which time the Ravens must be cap compliant.

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Although the release creates much-needed cap savings, it also comes after a saga that lasted more than a season.

Before the Ravens’ signed Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, Bowser was the veteran in a young outside linebackers room. He added an element of versatility, having played both inside and outside linebacker. He was strong against the run as well as in coverage.

But in mid-August, during training camp, coach John Harbaugh shared the news that Bowser was dealing with an “agitated knee.” At the time, the Ravens hoped to have him back by Week 3. Shortly after, they placed him on the non-football injury list, which meant he was sidelined until at least Week 4.

Week 4 came, and Bowser wasn’t even on the practice field. Meanwhile, Clowney, a late free agent signing, was gaining steam and Van Noy had just been signed.

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Two more weeks went by. On Oct. 16, at his weekly Monday press conference, Harbaugh shared a much less hopeful update on Bowser, saying things had gotten “more complicated” and that Bowser had decisions to make. He said an announcement would probably come “at some point.”

But the next day Bowser went on his show on PressBox to say he was feeling “great.” He said he was on the field, moving around well and gaining confidence. However, Bowser declined to talk to reporters in the locker room about his recovery.

On Oct. 30, Harbaugh said Bowser was “pretty optimistic” he would come back.

Bowser never returned. He also never addressed the topic with the media, although he recently told a reporter in Houston that he underwent a knee scope and expects to be back next season.

Meanwhile, Clowney started 15 of 17 games and finished with a career-best 9.5 sacks (earning a $750,000 bonus that he celebrated enthusiastically). He also had 43 tackles and two forced fumbles. Van Noy finished with nine sacks, 30 tackles and two forced fumbles in 14 games.

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Both are free agents and will probably be too expensive for the Ravens to sign. But the Ravens also saw good things out of their young players. At the NFL combine, general manager Eric DeCosta spoke glowingly of Odafe Oweh, who took a step forward after a healthier season than previous years. He still dealt with a few injuries but finished with 23 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles.

Malik Harrison provides similar versatility to Bowser in that he can line up inside and outside. He dealt with a groin injury at the end of the season but was a dependable player on defense and a significant contributor on special teams.

The Ravens are still waiting to see what they have in David Ojabo, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 3. All three cost less than Bowser and are younger.

Bowser ends his career in Baltimore with 152 tackles, 19.5 sacks, four interceptions and four forced fumbles across 89 career games.

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