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Ravens release Bernard Pierce Wednesday afternoon following Wednesday morning DUI arrest

The Baltimore Ravens released running back Bernard Pierce the same day he was arrested for suspicion of DUI. They earn PR points, but one has to wonder what would happen if it was a more notable player.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have decided they will not be messing around today. The team announced they have released running back Bernard Pierce following his Wednesday morning arrest for suspicion of DUI. Pierce was pulled over for going 55-mph in a 30-mph zone. He told cops he had three shots of Jack, and weighed 530 pounds.

Pierce is the third Ravens player dealing with a legal issue this year who was quickly released. Previously, nose tackle Terrence Cody was indicted on animal cruelty charges, and Victor Hampton was arrested for driving while impaired.

Pierce has not been an overly productive player the last two years, and it's not like Cody or Hampton were tearing it up. The Ravens came under intense criticism for the slip-shod manner with which they handled the Ray Rice situation. If the Ravens have a high profile player get into trouble, particularly for a DUI, I am curious to see how they handle it.

This is notable given the 49ers own decisions to wait and see with Bruce Miller and Ray McDonald. And of course there is everything that has gone down with Aldon Smith. They released McDonald after a second incident (and he is now suing his sexual assault accuser), but he had a DUI and an alleged domestic violence incident prior to that. Miller has no previous off-field issues that we know about. The 49ers have said they go through a process of collecting facts.

Thus far their off-field situations have usually involved fairly valuable football players. It would be fascinating to see what happens if a fringe player ends up in a similar situation. The closest example would be Demarcus Dobbs. He was deactivated for a game following a DUI. I believe there was a timing issue because of road travels and Dobbs posting bail. Nonetheless, given the nature of the league with regard to off-field issues, it is always to be at least a little skeptical.