The story of Baltimore native and Towson University star Terrance West winning the starting running back job for his hometown Ravens was a heartwarming one, but there might not be a happy ending. After a season in which West went from Week 1 starter to perpetual fourth-string bench-warmer, West is set to be a free agent and seems to recognize that his NFL future likely lies elsewhere.
As he cleaned out his locker at the team's Owings Mills, Md., complex Jan. 1 after the team's stunning, season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, West acknowledged that it "hurt" the way his role this season was essentially reduced to that of a practice squad player.
West, who turns 27 this month, won an underwhelming competition for the starting job during the preseason. But the emergence of Alex Collins -- signed to the Ravens' practice squad after he was among the Seattle Seahawks' final cuts -- completely changed the dynamic of the Ravens' backfield.