Albany State coaches called safety Dexter Moody the best player to come through the program in years, but he’s now without an NFL team after being released by the Ravens. (Herald File Photo)
BALTIMORE — Dexter Moody watched as a number of veteran cornerbacks showed up in the closing days of the Baltimore Ravens’ minicamp, so he wasn’t surprised to learn that he had been released from the team on June 20.
He will be surprised, however, if he doesn’t get another shot in the NFL.
Moody, who starred in the secondary the last two seasons for Albany State University, was signed as an undrafted free agent by Baltimore in May and seemed to stand out during the team’s OTAs and minicamp throughout May and June, earning praise from fellow players and head coach John Harbaugh.
But the Ravens told Moody they were already deep at safety and needed to bring some veterans in at cornerback, which forced them to cut ties with the reigning SIAC Defensive Player of the Year.
“I wasn’t mad or anything. I just took it with a grain of salt because it is what it is,” said Moody, who was also released from his three-year, $1.53 million contract, which had not included a signing bonus. “I understand it’s a business. I know somebody will pick me up, so I’m not too worried about it.
“I take it as a learning experience. I came in blind with no respect from the get-go, so I am taking it as a positive and working with it.”
Moody has been training back in Georgia since being released, and his agent, Adil Durrani, said he also likes Moody’s chances of being picked up again by either the Ravens or another team.
“I think his chances of going back to the Ravens are probably 50-50,” Durrani said. “He was very confident he would make the team. I wouldn’t say he was heartbroken (when he got released), but he was pretty close to it. But now he’s working hard and staying in shape to get another shot.”
Moody, who said there have been other teams that have reached out to his agent in the wake of his release, added that he would prefer returning to Baltimore.
“That’s where I’m hopeful it will be,” he said. “I’ve already learned the formations there, but I would be happy wherever I end up going.”
Moody was released the day after minicamp ended, along with fellow undrafted rookies linebacker Xavius Boyd (Western Kentucky) and cornerback Avery Patterson (Oregon). Those cuts opened up space for veteran cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks, linebackers Nick DiMarco and Austin Spitler, and wide receiver Mike Willie.
In his nearly two months with the Ravens, Moody made quite an impression on Harbaugh.
“Dexter is a very good athlete,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “He has size, speed. He’s a tough guy with good hand-eye coordination. Coming from a smaller school, he’s had more to learn. He’s done a pretty good job with it, but that’s always a challenge with a young guy like that.”
Moody cleared NFL waivers and can be signed again as early as July 17 when teams start reporting to training camp.
Moody spent two years at Albany State after transferring from Georgia State and led the Rams to an SIAC championship in 2013. He wrapped up his senior year with the Rams with three interceptions, following a junior season when he finished third in the nation with seven picks.