The Baltimore Ravens released linebacker Daryl Smith and decided not to pick up a $2 million contract option for defensive end Chris Canty on Thursday.
Smith spent the past three years with the Ravens, starting all 48 regular-season games. The 12-year NFL veteran led the team and ranked 10th in the league with 121 tackles in 2015.
Releasing Smith gives the Ravens an additional $2.6 million in salary cap room.
The 33-year-old Smith was credited with helping the Ravens transition following Ray Lewis' retirement.
"While we are releasing Daryl, we are not closing the door on the possibility of him returning to the Ravens," Baltimore general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said. "He deserves an opportunity to see his market value at this time. With 'Buck,' you're talking about one of the NFL's highest-quality people. We have been fortunate to have him with the Ravens, and his production has been outstanding."
The 33-year-old Canty also joined the Ravens in 2013 and had 83 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, seven passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 35 games the past three years. Last season, he totaled 20 tackles, one sack and one passed defensed in nine games.
"I called Chris to thank him for what he has done for the Ravens," Newsome said. "He has been an impactful player for us on and off the field."
Smith is one of two NFL players with at least 350 tackles, five sacks, five interceptions and four forced fumbles during the past three years. His 30 1/2 sacks and 11 interceptions make him one of four active NFL players with at least 30 sacks and 10 interceptions in a career.
"We have been blessed to have a person like Daryl Smith on our team," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He has been a steady and intelligent player with grit. 'Buck' is a special individual who has become a friend. Everyone who has spent time with him understands what I'm talking about. His numbers speak for themselves."
Canty has played in a total of 148 games in 11 years in the league.
The Ravens aren't likely done cutting veteran players because of their limited salary cap space.
Left tackle Eugene Monroe and tight end Dennis Pitta are two candidates to be released.