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Ravens release LB Brendon Ayanbadejo

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Ayanbadejo played for the Ravens from 2008-2012. (USATSI)
The Ravens spent the first few weeks of free agency jettisoning integral pieces of their championship roster: Anquan Boldin, Cary Williams, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger were either traded or not re-signed. On Wednesday, core special- teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo joined the ranks of former Ravens after the team released him.

The linebacker was undrafted out of UCLA but managed to have a 10-year career with three NFL teams (Dolphins, Bears, and Ravens). Ayanbadejo's age (37 before next season), and salary (he was due $940,000) may have hastened his departure. Still, he remained thankful for the opportunity to play in Baltimore.

Along with Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, Ayanbadejo is probably best known for tireless support of same-sex marriage.

“With this such a huge platform and being such a big game, I have to narrow my scopes and have real fine vision and know the importance of why I am here and I'm here because of the Super Bowl,” Ayanbadejo told USA Today in the days before Super Bowl XLVII. “Of course, if I can be a voice for equality, especially after this game, then I welcome everybody to sit down and get together after the game and we'll do a lot more for equality than just talking about it now at a sporting event.”

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