The NFL handed down a stiff penalty to the Baltimore Ravens for a violation of the collective bargaining agreement during rookie minicamp. The Ravens said they accept the punishment, and head coach John Harbaugh placed the blame on himself for improperly interpreting the rule.
According to multiple reports, this is what happened: On May 6 during the rookie minicamp, the Ravens sent rookies and first year player out on the field in full pads which violates the CBA. The players only spent five minutes in pads during non-contact drills before being pulled off the field when the rules were properly explained by Ben Watson, the Ravens player union representative.
According to reports, John Harbaugh received a fine of $137,223, and the Ravens got hit with $343,057. In addition to the fines, the Ravens also lose of week of OTAs which includes ten practices. The latter penalty may prove more costly than any financial hit.
On their 90 man roster, the Ravens currently list 23 rookies including 11 draft picks. The lost week serves as lost time to bring these new players up to speed. The NFL is a steep learning curve, and young talents need all the time they can get to acclimate themselves to the new league.
This becomes even more true for players switching positions in the NFL. Currently, at least two rookies may be playing in a different position. Keenan Reynolds played quarterback at Navy, but the Ravens plan to move him to wide receiver. First round pick, Ronnie Stanley may begin his pro career moving to guard until Eugene Monroe gives up the left tackle spot.
Hopefully, the new additions to the team spend some extra time during that lost week of OTAs hitting the playbook. They need to if the Ravens youth movement plans on righting the ship after last years disappointing season.