The Baltimore Ravens coaches have spent three weeks scheming drills but none of them has featured the leading rusher of the franchise as J.K. Dobbins has decided to stage a strong "hold-in" through training camp while sitting on the PUP list.
Dobbins is supposedly waiting for the franchise to offer him an extension (he's entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal) and won't practice or play with the Ravens until that happens. It's obvious that both parties have very different interests, and while both would like to reunite and like each other, their desires simply don't align. Or do they?
NFL insider Ian Rapoport suggested on Friday, Aug. 11 that the Baltimore Ravens might have already extended a long-term contract offer to Dobbins.
Judging by Dobbins' actions at camp, though, it's reasonable to think Dobbins would have rejected whatever terms Baltimore proposed, as he's stayed put on the sidelines without showing signs of wanting back to the field.
Rapoport also discussed Dobbins' current injury status and his placement in the Physically Unable to Perform list, implying that the issue might not be as severe as it appears, and it could resolve quickly with the assurance of a contract extension handed by the Ravens.
"He would like to get paid, and I know there’s been some discussions about a long-term deal in Baltimore," Rapoport said. "He’s on the PUP list. I don’t get the sense that he’s that injured, it seems like the kind of injury that would be probably okay if he ended up with a contract extension," the insider finished.
It is unclear how interested Baltimore is in offering such an extension at this point, though. While Dobbins has been an extraordinary running back and overall asset for the Ravens when available, it's also true that he's missed nearly half of all possible games he could have played throughout his career to date.
Dobbins rushed for 805 rushing yards and scored nine touchdowns in 15 games as a rookie in 2020, but he went on to miss the 2021 campaign in full rehabbing from an ACL tear. Last year, Dobbins appeared in less than half of all possible games, playing eight regular-season matchups and racking up 520 yards to go with a couple of touchdowns.
If Dobbins wants a long-term deal, or judging by this latest report a better long-term deal than the one Baltimore could have already offered him, he better come back, start practicing, log 17 appearances through the 2023 regular season, and then return to the negotiation table having proved his worth in terms of both production and availability.
Until he does that, he's got nothing to gain from sitting out and holding in.