Report: Ravens cutting four big-name vets

Well, that didn't take long.

On the same day the NFL lockout came to an end, the Baltimore Ravens got right to work by preparing to make four significant roster cuts this week. The goal is to create enough cap space for the Ravens to be players in free agency.

According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Baltimore has informed receiver Derrick Mason, tailback Willis McGahee, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg and tight end Todd Heap that they will be released this week. The moves will save Baltimore millions on the cap while also helping the Ravens get younger.

Heap and Mason are be the biggest surprises of this group, because both are coming off productive seasons. But Heap and Mason are aging players who were making at least $4 million this season, and the Ravens have drafted youngsters at the position in recent years, including receiver Torrey Smith (2011) and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta (2010).

There is a good chance Baltimore will try to re-sign some combination of Mason, Heap, McGahee and Gregg later at a discounted rate. But the four veterans will become unrestricted free agents and might get better contract offers elsewhere.