Zbikowski plans to keep boxing, Ravens are supportive

Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski will step into the boxing ring for the second time this offseason on Saturday night, and he says he plans to make boxing a regular part of his NFL offseasons.

“Without a doubt -– if I can get that worked out -– that’s my perfect world,” Zbikowski told Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun. “Other people might not feel that same way. If we can get that worked out, I can play at M&T Bank Stadium in the season and fight at M&T Bank Stadium in the offseason.”

Zbikowski is a restricted free agent who didn’t sign his one-year tender offer before the lockout began. That means he’s not under contract and is free to box whenever he wants, even if the lockout unexpectedly ends soon.

If Zbikowski wants to box every offseason, all he has to do is sign one-year contracts: He could sign his tender and play for the Ravens in 2011, then box professionally in the spring and summer of 2012, then sign another one-year contract in time for training camp, play the 2012 season and pick up boxing again in 2013. And so on.

However, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he thinks it’s “awesome” that Zbikowski boxes during the offseason. So it’s possible that Zbikowski could still box during offseasons even if he signed a long-term deal with the Ravens, although he’d obviously have to schedule his fights so that he’d be able to participate in minicamps, and if he ever suffered an injury boxing that prevented him from playing football, he’d go on the non-football injury list, which would mean he wouldn’t get paid.

Zbikowski sounds committed to being a two-sport athlete.

“I don’t look too far in advance because there are so many factors with boxing and getting through a football season without any surgeries,” Zbikowski said. “It’s so much that is unknown. What people are starting to understand is I’m serious about this. I can fit both of them in if I move it along the right way.”

He’ll try to improve to 3-0 tomorrow night.

14 responses to “Zbikowski plans to keep boxing, Ravens are supportive

  1. I think a long-term contract with some kind of boxing clause would be worked out before they would resort to a year-by-year basis… However, it would have to be a really unique contract that would require some creativity to cover all bases of protection for both sides

  2. The Ravens saw his last fight and knows their is no chance, none whatsoever of him getting hurt. Out of shape tomatoe can he fought, but good for him. As long as he stays on the tomatoe lane, he can make a few bucks and not get hurt.

  3. “…..However, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he thinks it’s “awesome” that Zbikowski boxes during the offseason….”


    Of course he would. That way in 30 years when the guy can’t remember his name and requires a live in nurse the NFL can claim it was “boxing and not football” that led to his disabilities and deny his claim for benefits.

  4. Bisciotti should love Zbikowski pursuing boxing.

    There is no financial risk to him, as you pointed out.

    And boxers train like maniacs, so you know he’s one player you’ll never have to worry about showing to camp out of shape.

    And it’s not like if something career ending happened to Z in the ring the Ravens would be losing a future Hall of Famer. Nice player, sure, but certainly replaceable.

  5. Is Tom Zbikowski really worth reporting on every week? I mean… we’re talking about an average NFL player at best here, no? What’s with the fascination on this guy?

  6. I hope he does well with this fight on Saturday.
    I like zbi a lot with the ravens. I think he has a chance to
    Replace and better upgrade than dawan Landry in FS position.
    He can also make plays like reed in the backfield so I’m
    Pretty excited.

  7. @bfridley, no one is going to offer Tommy Z a long term contract, he isn’t good enough so let him box. He isn’t facing monsters, more like guys like me when I fought. If he had a long contract he wouldn’t be able to do this if there was a lockout or not. Had someone offered him a long term contract he would have signed it in a instant. Chances are, even though is good and has a name, his earnings in boxing won’t be that much.

  8. Emmanuel Stewart is now training him. I think his football days are all but done. Stewart is a big time trainer and choses his fighters, fighters don’t chose him. I also don’t see him taking on a fighter who is going to leave him in a few months. Not a guy fighting 4 rounders and bringing 5 figure paydays.

  9. As long as he continues to fight the level of competition he has in his first 2 fights, there is NO chance of him getting hurt.

    And the one thing he has going for him is that he’s in shape. Most heavys today are chubby’s who don’t train and are about 30 to 40 pounds overweight. Seriously.

  10. I’ve never understood why people comment on articles just to say they dont care. If you dont care dont click the freaking link to read it. Its not hard. When I am scrolling the pages of PFT and I see an article that does not interest me, I move to the next. I dont waste my time writing useless comments on them.

    Anyways, good for Zibby. I wish you guys would have posted more of Biscotti’s interview with the Sun, it was really good. Something tells me, if were to replace Richardson or Jones in CBA negotiations, a deal might be closer.

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