Patriots Waste No Time Grabbing Former Raven Justin Bethel
Former Ravens special teams ace Justin Bethel didn't have to wait long to find a new home.
The New England Patriots reportedly signed Bethel just one day after being released from Baltimore. The Patriots cut another special teams player, Jordan Richards, in a corresponding move.
The Ravens and Patriots play each other Sunday night on Nov. 3 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh regretted the team had to lose Bethel.
"I told him, I think he’s the best special teams player in the NFL, and he’s playing that way,’’ Harbaugh said. “So that’s going to be a blow, and we’re going to have to find a way to overcome that.’’
Bethel, a three-time Pro-Bowl selection, led the Ravens with six tackles on special teams.
However, the Titans forced Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta to make a move when Tennessee cut former Ravens defensive end Brent Urban over the weekend. That roster decision nullified the fourth-round compensatory pick the Ravens acquired for losing wide receiver John Brown during free agency.
By cutting Bethel prior to Week 10, the compensatory pick formula allows the Ravens to recoup the selection they lost when Urban was cut.
The Ravens will rely heavily on linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort to fill the void for the loss of Bethel.
The Ravens, who are on their bye week, are 5-2 and sit atop the AFC North by 2.5 games. New England is 7-0 heading into a game against the Cleveland Browns.