Source: Ravens fire Martindale in surprise move

NFL

The Baltimore Ravens have fired defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale with one year remaining on his contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh issued a statement Friday saying he and Martindale “agreed to move forward in separate directions.”

“We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done,” Harbaugh said in his statement. “Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities.

“Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time. I am personally grateful for our friendship and for everything he has done in Baltimore.”

The Ravens (8-9) this season became the first team in the past 19 seasons to go from being the No. 1 seed in the conference to failing to make the playoffs six weeks later, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Ravens fell to 25th in the league in points and yards allowed this season, after they led the league in points (18.2) and yards allowed (307.8) in Martindale’s first three seasons as defensive coordinator (2018 to ’20).

Just one year ago, Ravens players were shocked that Martindale wasn’t contacted for any NFL head coaching vacancies. A year later, he is out with the Ravens and is expected to be a hot candidate for any assistant coach vacancy around the league.

Baltimore has a number of areas to address on defense this offseason with the team perhaps looking to add four new starters on that side of the ball. The Ravens managed just 34 sacks this season, which ranked 22nd in the league.

Defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams — who combined for 1,012 snaps this season — are entering free agency this offseason, and middle linebacker is also an area of concern after the team moved former first-round pick Patrick Queen out of that spot.

The secondary, meanwhile, needs a playmaking safety and a No. 3 cornerback.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.

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