Yesterday the NFL handed down a suspension to Ravens tight end Darren Waller, for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, for the second time. Last season, Waller was punished with a four-game suspension for the same reason. However, his new suspension will be for the full year, without pay. This marks the second tight end that the Ravens lost this offseason and the second suspension to a Ravens player this offseason. The Ravens need to set the tone when it comes to players violating both team and league rules, and they must now exercise their right to part ways with Waller.
Waller is now leaving the Ravens tight end group in a precarious situation. The group already lost its leader, Dennis Pitta, to a career ending injury during OTAs, and now with Waller gone, is left in the hands of players coming off of injuries. Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, and Ben Watson are all coming off some major injuries, and are a risk for the Ravens. They could become injured again, and their caliber of play could fall off. Waller is also the second Ravens player to be suspended this season, as running back Kenneth Dixon was also suspended for violating the same policy, but only for four games. It is unacceptable for any player on the Ravens’ roster to violate any policies of the NFL, as it is selfish and harms the team more than themselves. The Ravens have had some issues with suspensions recently, and need to make a statement to the team that this will no longer be tolerated. They must cut Darren Waller from the team, in order to send a message to the rest of the team. There is also no point in keeping Waller on the roster anymore. He has already violated the NFL substance abuse policy twice, and won’t be able to play for the entirety of this season. He cannot be counted on anymore, and the Ravens’ cannot depend on him. Waller is just another case of talent and potential with failed results because of his inability to abide by the rules.