On Monday morning, Baltimore Ravens offensive guard, Alex Lewis, announced that the team had released him via an Instagram post. Lewis, the oft-injured 2016 draft selection, had just passed his physical on Monday morning as well. Lewis was eligible to return to practice, but the Ravens already knew he would not be a candidate to make the roster. This was somewhat surprising, as Lewis started at left guard throughout much of the 2018 campaign.
The Ravens were probably uncomfortable keeping Lewis on the roster with his unfortunate history of injuries. Lewis had suffered an injury in each of his 3 full years in Baltimore. In 2016 he missed time with a sprained ankle, in 2017 a shoulder injury, and in 2018 a neck injury. Lewis sustained another shoulder injury after the 2018 season, and was unable to immediately participate in training camp practices.
The Ravens were set to place Lewis on waivers, but ended up striking a deal with the New York Jets instead. Baltimore traded Alex Lewis to the Jets, in exchange for a 2020 conditional 7th round pick. The conditions to transfer ownership of the pick are not yet known. Many were surprised that the Ravens were even able to make a trade, given Lewis’ $2 million price tag, and his injury history.
Baltimore now puts most of its faith into the trio of contenders for the starting left guard position: Ben Powers, Jermaine Eluemunor, and James Hurst. Baltimore drafted Powers in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Ravens brass believes he will develop into a strong talent at guard. Baltimore also has seen significant improvement from 2017 fifth round selection, Jermaine Eluemunor. Finally, James Hurst also has the opportunity to reclaim his starting job. Hurst started at left guard throughout the entirety of the 2017 season. Baltimore re-signed Hurst to a large deal last offseason, but Hurst lost his starting role due to injury.