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Friday, March 23, 2007

Mulitalo Released by Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have released veteran Pro Bowl guard Ed Mulitalo. However, it appears that Mulitalo may end up with the Detroit Lions alongside Poly offensive lineman Dominic Raiola and Blaine Saipaia.

Mulitalo Released By Ravens

March 7, 2007
Mike Duffy

AFC Signings / NFC Signings

It is the cruel nature of business in the NFL. In an era where rosters constantly change, teams are sometimes forced to make moves under difficult and undesirable circumstances.

"He was always an example to his teammates as to how a professional should conduct himself. My hope is that he stays in this area for the long haul."
- Billick
Today, the Ravens made one of those decisions, as longtime guard Edwin Mulitalo was released. Known for his brute strength and nasty streak on the field, along with a constant smile and philanthropic efforts off it, Muliatlo spent his entire eight-year career in Baltimore.

The 6-3, 345-pounder was drafted in the fourth round of the 1999 NFL Draft and was quickly promoted to the first team during Week 9 of his rookie campaign. From then on, Mulitalo never started less than 14 contests in a season until 2006, when he was placed on injured reserve after four games due to a triceps that required surgery.

With Mulitalo next to the 6-9, 345-pound Jonathan Ogden for eight consecutive years, the Ravens boasted one of the most formidable left sides of an offensive line in the NFL.

"When you release a player like Edwin, it gives you pause," said head coach Brian Billick. "This is the cold side of the business. All he did was everything we asked him to do and more. He gave us stability at left guard. He was always an example to his teammates as to how a professional should conduct himself. My hope is that he stays in this area for the long haul."

For Mulitalo, it is a bittersweet feeling to leave the team where his professional memories were built. He explained that when he first heard the news from Ravens general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome, he was flustered, but understood.

"Later, I called him back to let him know that I was very grateful for everything that he and the Ravens did for me when I was there," Mulitalo said.

The lineman was also one of the most popular Ravens. His respect of and availability to the media, in good times and bad, were at the highest professional level. Through his foundation, Big Ed's Band, he worked tirelessly to support the growth and development of instrumental music by providing instruments, repair and education to schools in Baltimore and the surrounding area.

Mulitalo's annual Luau for the foundation, where he would play the ukulele with his band and have other Polynesian-themed entertainment, was a yearly hit in Baltimore.

Newsome recalled a quote of Billick's when asked about Mulitalo: "Brian said something a few years ago about releasing players. He said, 'When it doesn't hurt, you get out of this business.' Well, it hurts to let a good person like Ed go. He helped us win the Super Bowl and many other games in the last eight years. He's a good football player and a better person. People know what he has done in the community. And, he's been a mentor to young teammates the last three and four years."

"We're a better community because of him," Billick agreed. "He cares, and his actions off the field speak for themselves."

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