Did the Ravens like the fact that Ayanbadejo took such a public stance on a hot-button issue like same-sex marriage? Probably not. Was that a reason why Baltimore released him? It definitely wasn't the leading one.
Ayanbadejo attempted to squelch this story by saying on Twitter that he was misquoted in the Newsday article:
Dick Cass and the @ravens had my back all year. Why would I say I was cut cuz my views? Makes no sense.
— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) April 5, 2013
What makes more sense is the Ravens cut Ayanbadejo over his age (he turns 37 at the start of the season), declining play (he didn't make a special-teams tackle in four postseason games) and his salary (he was scheduled to make $940,000 this season).
The Ravens never criticized Ayanbadejo for using his stature as an NFL player to weigh in on a controversial issue. Ayanbadejo was actually part of coach John Harbaugh's leadership council which helped make decisions on the team's practice schedule and routine.
"He was a pleasure to have on our team," Harbaugh said in a statement, which was released before Ayanbadejo spoke to Newsday. "We’ll stay in contact, I hope, but I’ll miss our regular conversations.”
The Ravens also haven't ruled out re-signing Ayanbadejo. "The door may not be closed to bring him back to help us again," general manager Ozzie Newsome said Thursday.