June 18, 2024

Baltimore Ravens announce Josh Bynes’ retirement from the NFL

Josh Bynes got cut as an undrafted rookie after his first NFL training camp, the first of seven times he would be released by NFL teams. At this second NFL training camp, Bynes suffered cracked vertebrae.

But on Friday, the Baltimore Ravens announced the former Auburn standout was retiring after playing in 138 regular-season and seven postseason games across 12 NFL campaigns.

Ravens Linebacker Josh Bynes Thriving In Familiar Surroundings - PressBox

“The thing I’m most proud of is perseverance,” Bynes told the Ravens’ official website. “I’ve been released, cut. I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough, not fast enough to play in the league, wouldn’t be in the league long at all even if I had the opportunity to play.

“I can show my peers that regardless of what anybody says, you can do anything. You just go out there and prove it every single day. I feel like I proved that for my entire 12 years.”

Bynes played 59 regular-season and five postseason games with Baltimore, and he’ll be the Legend of the Game on Sunday when the Ravens square off against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium.

“The Ravens have been home,” Bynes said. “The way they treat me, my family, there’s no place like it.”

Bynes’ final game came on Oct. 23, 2022, when he made four tackles in Baltimore’s 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Bynes capped his college career as the leading tackler for Auburn’s undefeated BCS national-championship team in the 2010 season.

After signing with the Ravens as a rookie free agent, he was cut at the end of the preseason before being brought back in November by the Ravens for the practice squad and making it to the active roster for one game in 2011.

Bynes made the final tackle in Baltimore’s 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII even though he suffered cracked vertebrae in training camp followed by his release before the 2012 season began. He ended up starting the final three regular-season contests with Baltimore star Ray Lewis sidelined by an injury.

Bengals' free agent Josh Bynes already asserting leadership on young  linebackers - Cincy Jungle

When the Ravens added Alabama All-American C.J. Mosley as a first-round draft choice in 2014, Bynes was back on the practice squad after starting six games in 2013.

The Detroit Lions signed Bynes during the 2014 season, and in 2015, he finished second on the team in tackles. A knee injury led to his release in 2016, but Bynes returned to the starting lineup in the second half of that season in Detroit.

That didn’t get him re-signed, though, and it wasn’t until Aug. 5, 2017, that the Arizona Cardinals brought Bynes in from free agency. After playing in 14 games in 2017, Bynes became a starter for the Cardinals in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury in the 11th game.

When Arizona released Bynes with two years left on his contract, he had to wait until Oct. 2, 2019, for his next NFL opportunity, back with the Ravens, who had just yielded 1,033 yards in back-to-back losses.

After starting seven of 12 games in his return to Baltimore in 2019, Bynes signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals soon after free agency opened in 2020. He started every game for Cincinnati and reached a career high with 99 tackles in his 10th NFL campaign.

Bynes signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 11, 2021, but he didn’t make the team’s regular-season roster coming out of the preseason. After the Panthers released Bynes, he spent the first three weeks of the 2021 season on Baltimore’s practice squad before playing in 14 games.

Bynes started the first seven games of the 2022 season at middle linebacker before missing the Ravens’ 27-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 27, 2022, with a quadriceps injury.

On Oct. 31, 2022, Baltimore obtained linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears. Bynes did not play again after the Ravens obtained Smith, who went on to be selected as the AFC’s starting inside linebacker for the Pro Bowl Games.

In his 138 regular-season games, which included 82 starts, Bynes recorded 582 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Bynes scored his only NFL touchdown on Oct. 7, 2018, when he scooped up a fumble by San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard and ran 23 yards to the end zone with 4:33 remaining in the Cardinals’ 28-18 victory.

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