Report: NFL believes Ravens knew rules banning use of pads

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Earlier this week, a report surfaced that the NFL would investigate the Ravens for using full pads during a portion of a practice during their recent rookie minicamp.

The Ravens responded to the report by saying that players were in the pads for five minutes because the team was unaware that CBA rules barred their use during rookie minicamps and that players were pulled from the field to remove them when they were made aware.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the NFL isn’t convinced by the team’s explanation. Per Schefter, the league believes the team was aware of the rules and moved forward anyway.

As anyone who followed Deflategate is surely aware, the phrase “generally aware” played a big role in the eventual punishment handed down to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Schefter reports that the NFL’s belief that the Ravens were more than generally aware “will factor into potential discipline.”

The potential punishments include fines, lost practice time, and forfeited draft picks, although the loss of draft picks is called for only after multiple violations in the same year.

128 responses to “Report: NFL believes Ravens knew rules banning use of pads

  1. The NFLPA signed the worse CBA ever giving up everything else for these stupid practice rules that actually really hurt the players (especially the young ones) and the game.

  2. Who cares if they knew or not. Ignorance of the rules do not make you innocent of them. This is the new NFL throw the book at them. This is an integity issue. Repeat cheaters***

  3. “The potential punishments include fines, lost practice time, and forfeited draft picks, although the loss of draft picks is called for only after multiple violations in the same year.”

    The patriots did not have multiple violations, and the punishment was only supposed to be a $25k fine… yet they lost a first AND a 4th… not just that, but they can’t trade ANY of their fourth round picks, even the one they got in a trade

  4. I give the benefit of the doubt to Harbaugh here. He has already shown he does not understand the rules….

  5. Jon Harbaugh is a whiny little toddler. The Ravens deserve every bit of discipline they get, just like the Patriots.

  6. Unlike the Patriots fictional cheating this cheating is real and I expect a historic penalty here.

    They didn’t even need to cheat, they are trash with or without cheating anyway! 🙂

  7. Of course the Ravens knew it was illegal; they had already been fined for doing it previously. But, they went right ahead did it anyway because, as some here have already remarked, who really cares? It is a stupid rule.

    Seems a lot like ignoring a league memo (not even a rule) on where you can or can not stand on the field while video taping the other team’s coaches giving signals. That one resulted in massive fines to the team and head coach. It should be interesting to see how big his fine will be.

  8. when you get an unprecedented 4 games for being generally aware that someone else may have done something against the rules, or you’re fined $1 million and have 1st and 4th round picks taken away when the investigative report clears you of any wrongdoing, imagine what happens when you know you’re breaking the rules and you do it yourself.

    While the CBA requires certain discipline to protect the players from the team’s behavior, I’m sure Goodell has the power to do more on behalf of “the integrity of the shield”.

    Therefore an 8 game suspension for Harbaugh, $2 million fine, and two 1st round picks should suffice.

  9. Looks like it is the Ravens turn.

    Goodell is drunk with power.

    There’s no infraction too small or too insignificant to escape his wrath.

  10. Ravens as a Saints fan. Do yourselves a big favor. Just say you were wrong, pay the fine, and give up the draft picks before this turns into something big

  11. Goodell is drunk with power.

    There’s no infraction too small or too insignificant to escape his wrath.

    Looks like it is the Ravens turn.

  12. First of all they didn’t cheat. How can you guys compare this to Brady? Peoples comments are so dumb. BTW Brady is GOAT!

  13. Rookies were also caught not wearing mouthguards. A hefty fine and loss of draft picks is surely to follow now.

    Get a grip, people. This isn’t deflategate, spygate, bountygate, or anything close to that magnitude.

    The Seahawks did something similar a few years back, maybe ONE article was released about it, and that was the end of it.

    Give them their fine, dock them a few OTA practice days and move along.

  14. I’m sure that by mid-season this will be used as an example, in conjunction with the Burfict suspension, of how the league plays favorites for the Steelers.

  15. Well as we’ve seen a lot in recent years, if the NFL* decides on a given interpretation, no amount of argumentation (or science) will change their mind.

  16. Yawn.
    Wake me up when they do something serious like manipulate footballs during a playoff game or try to steal opponent’s signals before a playoff game. Both of which were meant to gain an illegal advantage over the opponent in the run to the super bowl.
    Explain to me how having rookies in pads for 5 minutes in May is going to influence who wins the super bowl next February.

    Get a grip people !!

  17. Cheaters. Take away their Super Bowls and take away their number one pick for the next ten years.

    Signed,

    Every self righteous person on the Internet

  18. I am no Steeler fan but I hope they WHOOP the Ratbirds next year. I don’t like the Ravens. 🙂

    Never thought I would hate a team more than the Steelers till now. Congrats cheaters! *

    🙂

  19. esd45suf says:
    May 18, 2016 3:50 PM
    Anyone else think that it is pathetic that the players can’t even were pads in the camp, let alone hit?
    —————————————————————–

    Sure, but I also find it pathetic that such a minute equipment violation (that didn’t even happen btw) turned into literally a federal case and has dragged on for years and resulted in stolen draft picks and suspensions.

    Rules are rules, right? Or is that only when it involves NE?

    Spoiler alert: As evidenced by Jets Tampering, ATL crowd noise, Browns, etc… Yes it apparently only matters when it involves NE.

  20. Of course they knew. IIRC the league sent a memo to the coaches/teams outlining the changes of the practice rules that were implemented when the new CBA went into effect. That is just about the only section that applies to the team/coaching staffs right now. To say they were unaware is either a huge lie or a a demonstration of colossal incompetence. They have probably done it all along only this time the union rep said something and they had to stop. If he hadn’t said anything they would have continued practice as usual so the “it was only 5 minutes” line is just PR stuff to minimize the damage.

    I do not like the rule but if all teams do not abide then the ones that do are potentially at a disadvantage.

  21. unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation have told me Ravens officials have quickly destroyed their cell phones once hearing about this.

  22. I’d like to speak for level-headed Patriot fans and other sensible, rational people out there, and say “who cares?” If they need a fine, fine them. But for crying out loud, let’s just see some good football and stop trying to submarine franchises with penalties for pretty trivial stuff, no matter how much I may dislike their laundry. Line up and play ball, I don’t even want to hear about this or deflated balls or pumped in crowd noise or whatever. Sick of the NFL being a constant soap opera.

  23. Wake me up when they do something serious like manipulate footballs during a playoff game or try to steal opponent’s signals before a playoff game.

    I guess September is technically “before a playoff game.”

    Damn, the zombie lies live on.

    BTW, there’s still no rule against stealing signals. Nor could there be, unless staff were forbidden from even looking at the other team’s sideline.

  24. “Get a grip, people. This isn’t deflategate, spygate, bountygate, or anything close to that magnitude. ”

    I agree. This violation actually happened.

  25. Welcome to the future of football, every time anyone does anything wrong a million loony Patriot fans will whine about how unfair it all is.

    I wonder how well they would’ve done minus $36M in cap space?

  26. Repeat offenders that KNEW – not found “generally aware”.

    If nothing less than a 1MM fine and few draft picks taken away you know this league is corrupt and has it in for one organization.

  27. 5 minutes in pads for a rookie special teams drill..

    The world is coming to an end !!!!!

  28. Padgate

    Can we kill this thing where people use “-gate” as a suffix, PLEASE? I’ll even vote for Donald Trump’s comb-over if he can make this happen.

  29. No fan base likes Roger. You see his face or hear his voice, makes you want to turn.

    Disappointing that Harbaugh would put the organization in this position during a practice. They know the rules, and intentionally broke them. Take the punishment and move on. Don’t put the players, coaches and organization in this position again.

  30. I guess this means an additional 2 games tacked onto Brady’s suspension.

  31. Just how long have the Ravens been doing this? Is it out of the question to say they don’t win the SB in 2000 and 2012? 49ers only lost that game by a few points.

  32. inozwetrust says:
    May 18, 2016 4:10 PM

    Explain to me how having rookies in pads for 5 minutes in May is going to influence who wins the super bowl next February

    ———
    if it doesn’t benefit them in some way, then why bother to do it?

  33. drunkraider says:
    May 18, 2016 4:19 PM

    unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation have told me Ravens officials have quickly destroyed their cell phones once hearing about this.
    ——————————————————
    If true then Raven officials are dumber than that guy they built a statue for.

  34. “It didn’t happen! You can’t prove anything! It doesn’t matter anyway!”

    I’ve heard that somewhere recently…

  35. If I’m the Ravens I’d try to argue that they were just trying to protect the players. Than maybe just casually drop the words concussion and liabilty into the conversation and the league should turn their back.

  36. Harbs knew it was illegal to practice in pads, just like Brady knew it was illegal to direct equip guys to deflate the balls. Difference is, one has zero impact on actual games, the other did and is a slap to the face of the game’s integrity.

    Harbs may claim ignorance of the rule, but at least his SB win was legit.

  37. Whether they knew or not doesn’t particularly matter. Its a violation and they should be punished. Here’s the difference. Ravens admitted it and offered evidence in the form of practice video.

    Patriots denied, didn’t cooperate, and destroyed potential evidence.

    That’s the difference.

  38. The biggest difference is the Ravens were caught violating a rule. Tom Brady & the Patriots did not to anything to the footballs, that’s all on Mother Nature.
    There was no tampering!!

  39. Other comment didn’t make it so I’ll rephrase.

    I think the real crime in all this is teams can’t wear pads even for conditioning drills. I get contact is dangerous but change the CBA to allow pads for conditioning. Ravens were doing a no contact punt coverage drill. If you’ve ever played you know you run A LOT. Let then workout in pads.

  40. clipper522 says:
    May 18, 2016 4:04 PM
    Rookies were also caught not wearing mouthguards. A hefty fine and loss of draft picks is surely to follow now.

    Get a grip, people. This isn’t deflategate, spygate, bountygate, or anything close to that magnitude.

    The Seahawks did something similar a few years back, maybe ONE article was released about it, and that was the end of it.

    Give them their fine, dock them a few OTA practice days and move along.
    ——————————————–
    They broke a rule which gave them an unfair competitive advantage by practicing in pads when other teams can’t. Cheaters!!!!!!!!!

  41. when Goodell made such a big deal about air pressure in New England he forced things like this to become a big deal. Goodell can not treat this less

  42. Jon Runyan, that’s your cue!

    As a Pats fan, I don’t care a whit about this rule violation. If it is a finable offense, fine them. But let’s not make a big deal out of it. If deflategate proved anything, it is that all fans hate Goodell and his “justice”.

  43. whispersd says: May 18, 2016 4:21 PM

    Wake me up when they do something serious like manipulate footballs during a playoff game or try to steal opponent’s signals before a playoff game.

    ………………………

    When has that ever happened and been reported anywhere? You must sleep a lot.

  44. The whole Pad issue is what the NFLPA put into the CBA, not the owners! The players demanded that they take less hits during the off season so that is why those rules are in place. To change it will require either side giving something up. The NFLPA accepted the deal. Yes, next one will be a serious fight between the two groups, but the owners are not going to give away guaranteed contracts and the players will be demanding them. Here come the Scabs!

  45. Also, for all you Raven fans, there is no rivalry between the Redskins and Ravens. We are not even in the same conference! Sadly Baltimore city days as a major city are over. When you think of the great cities on the East Coast, starting from the top: Boston, New York, Philly, DC, Atlanta & Miami. I don’t hear of people wanting to vacation in Baltimore!

  46. Harbs knew it was illegal to practice in pads, just like Brady knew it was illegal to direct equip guys to deflate the balls. Difference is, one has zero impact on actual games, the other did and is a slap to the face of the game’s integrity.
    ================================
    Tom knew it was illegal to have the ball boys deflate the balls below 12.5, which is why he NEVER did that. He simply had them show the refs the rules.
    There was NO TAMPERING of Patriot footballs. on the other hand, there is PROOF that the Ravens knowingly broke the rules.

  47. cptcavalier says:
    May 18, 2016 5:44 PM
    When you think of the great cities on the East Coast, starting from the top: Boston, New York, Philly, DC, Atlanta & Miami. I don’t hear of people wanting to vacation in Baltimore!
    ___________________

    You must not know too many Red Sox, Yankees or Jays fans then. My wife is a Boston girl Sox fan, and I’m a Yankees guy and like plenty of other fans we take at least a couple of trips a season to Camden Yards to see our teams play there and have friends from the Toronto area that do the same. It’s a great place to take in a few games.

  48. BIGGSHAUN says:
    May 18, 2016 3:51 PM

    Tom Brady knowingly cheated. He’ll be punished.

    The Ravens knowingly cheated. They’ll be punished.
    —————————————————-

    Brady is accused, not proven…

    Ravens were video taped breaking the rules…PROVEN, not speculated…

    Big difference….

  49. I really just don’t like people who are dishonest. If the Ravens didn’t know (which is laughable) then it could be easily proven. Send tapes to the NFL of rookie OTAs from previous years under the current CBA where they consistently put pads on. If that happened I’ll believe they didn’t know. For the record, I don’t think this is a serious infraction, I just don’t like people trying to weasel out of culpability.

  50. They caught it on tape?

    Sounds like there’s going to be another stomping party for the league office.

    Wear sensible shoes!

  51. Bribing those two Federal judges is really starting to pay off for Goodell.

  52. Anything less than a 4 game suspension and loss of a first round draft pick is unacceptable. Oh yeah – and get Harbaugh’s phone too. The NFL should have complete access to his personal life so that they can thoroughly investigate this crime against humanity.

  53. vicksdawgpound says:
    May 18, 2016 4:04 PM

    First of all they didn’t cheat. How can you guys compare this to Brady? Peoples comments are so dumb. BTW Brady is GOAT!
    ————————

    If people consider “spygate” cheating, then this is cheating. You can’t have it both ways.

  54. Goodell cannot escape this, but it will be interesting to see how he tries to do so with good buddies Bisciotti, Ozzie and Harbaugh.

    The media needs to watch this carefully.

  55. They’ll lose a week of OTAs and 300k fine. Same as Seahawks when they violated the same rule for a second time.

    It’s dumb, hand down the punishment and move on to something interesting.

    Then next year change the rule.

  56. patsrule59 says:
    May 18, 2016 3:49 PM
    I’m sure this violation will result in the usual slap on the wrist punishment that no-Patriots offenses get.

    ************************************************************************************

    This is the biggest downside of the Deflategate debacle — regardless of whether anyone actually cheated or not, Pats fans will now never, ever stop with the whining.

  57. Just like pad gate, can someone explain how this or losing .02 of psi gives you an advantage? The Ravens stunk last year and tb12 had a better year with so called inflated balls. Explain how either of these non factors are cheating?

  58. Lets be honest…. if there is any team in the leagues that needs to were pads it is the Ravens.
    At least once a month.

  59. Why are we talking about the Patriots fictional cheating? This is about the Ravens cheating and it’s real. Stay on topic people!

    🙂

  60. Looks like it is the Ravens turn.

    Goodell is drunk with power.

    There’s no infraction too small or too insignificant to escape his wrath.
    _________________________________________
    I would agree with you unless you are the Jets. His favorite team and former employer. Chiefs lose 2 draft picks for tampering. The Jets tamper on television and get a small fine. Sounds fair. In Goodells twisted mind.

  61. There are no potential punishments that apply here.

    This was an integrity of the game issue that obviously involves high level Raven officials knowingly entering a conspiracy to defraud the competitive balance of the league.

    Goodell must rule and punish the Ravens.

  62. How long have the Ravens been doing this? We need to explore all the evidence, which means access to texts and emails. Anything less than serious penalties will be interpreted as nothing short of favoritism for the Ravens organization.

  63. The Ravens have a history of doing things outside the rules. They apparently cheat almost, but not quite, as much as the Patriots do. (Nobody cheats more than the Pats.) The NFL really needs to start cracking down hard on teams that think they don’t have to abide by the rules.

  64. 1 million dollar fine. A loss of a 1st & 4th draft pick, a 5 million dollar inquiry that leads to they might have snd suspend Joe Flacco for possibly knowing this happened.

  65. mmmpierogi says:
    May 18, 2016 7:51 PM

    This is the biggest downside of the Deflategate debacle — regardless of whether anyone actually cheated or not, Pats fans will now never, ever stop with the whining.
    —————————

    They’ve earned it.

  66. forthegoodofthegame says:
    May 18, 2016 4:13 PM

    Here comes some more “industrial justice”.
    —————————-

    Goodell’s Industrial Justice comes in an easy to dispense 55-gallon drum.

  67. Ravens violated the integrity of the game.

    Last I checked, violating the integrity of the game was a million dollar fine, loss of a first round draft pick, and, if Flacco was generally aware that the Ravens were practicing with full pads, a four game suspension.

    That is, if Goodell and the NFL want to uphold the integrity of the game by following their own precedent.

  68. Punishment should be: no pads during the first 4 regular season games. Helmets only. No jock straps. Roger Goodell checks them all. Go Hawks

  69. They’ll get fined and the practice in full pads was probably worth it. Next time, the fine will be doubled and they’ll think twice about it. It’s kind of like a speeding ticket.

  70. The thing about this blog that bothers me most is that my blood pressure goes up every time I read that Schefter was somehow involved in the release of information. Not as bad as when I read that Goodell had something to say. Not as high mind you, but it still goes up.
    Its for a combination of reasons I guess. In my mind he crossed the line when he leaked classified health documents. Cause you know if the same had been done to his family, he’d be suing you in a heart beat. But when he does it its all above board. Nonsense.
    And second I hate the credit given when someone reports a story. Come on. It’s not like the guy invented a cure for cancer. All he did was answer a phone, listened for a minute and then writes a report. Back in the day that’s what my secretary did. Today it’s like he has accomplished something, which he has not. If

  71. Looks like it is the Ravens turn.

    Goodell is drunk with power.

    There’s no infraction too small or too insignificant to escape his wrath.
    ____________________________________
    Honey, your ignorance knows no bounds. Read the NFL charter and by laws. The Commissioner is merely a mouth piece for the owners. Fact!

  72. Tainted titles. Put the asterisk on. Cheaters. Must take draft picks and suspend Flacco. We need hearings and lawyers. Reputation is gone. I knew it all along. Everything they’ve ever done is evil. Let’s burn down the stadium. There must be blood! Lol

  73. And when the band plays “Hail To The Chief” oooh,
    They’ll point the cannon right at You, now.

    Oh, no! What you reap you sow, go go Goodellzilla!
    Oh, no! There goes Baltimo’, go go Goodellzilla!

  74. I normally an joy watching the Ratbirds shame themselves and enjoy a nice hefty fine against a division rival. However I hope they are let off with a slap on the wrist here because Patriot fans would lose their freakin’ minds, providing plenty of entertainment at least until training camp. #FreeHarbaugh!

  75. No excuses, second violation, Goodell punishment should be 1 million dollar fine 2017 1st round draft choice and 2018 4th round draft choice. If the league office is being fair LOL.

  76. To try and derail the predictable responses here, let me just say this to Ravens fans:

    If (and when) Goodell overreacts and imposes a crazy punishment, remember that Saints, Patriots, and Chiefs fans warned you that this is the NFL Goodell wants you to accept. He wants fans of other teams to be happy you get punished so that he can do whatever he wants, no matter if the punishment is deserved,

    People: YOUR TEAM COULD BE NEXT.

  77. Regarding the “It was only for 5 minutes” defense, the padded practice only lasted that long because a veteran player (who knew the rules) told them they weren’t supposed to be doing that. If no one had spoken up, they would have gone through the whole practice.

    Really, though, the amount of time doesn’t matter. If you tell a traffic cop you were only parked in a handicapped spot for 5 minutes, you’re still getting a ticket.

  78. patriotsticketssince1978 says:
    May 18, 2016 8:46 PM
    There are no potential punishments that apply here.

    Except there are, as the article clearly states, a written punishment of fines and lost OTA days for breaking the rule. It’s the same as the substance abuse policy. Clear punishments for breaking the rules. There is even a legal precedent set by the Seahawks.

    Whatever it is wont be enough for Pats fans. There are no written punishments for deflating footballs, failing to cooperate with an investigation, and destroying evidence. That’s why Goodell had to make it up.

  79. spartan01 says:
    May 19, 2016 8:32 AM

    Whatever it is wont be enough for Pats fans. There are no written punishments for deflating footballs, failing to cooperate with an investigation, and destroying evidence. That’s why Goodell had to make it up.
    ———————-

    Yep. That’s what happens when you perpetrate a fraud.

  80. Von miller only gets 6 games for bribing a urine tester while the team got nothing. This should be a suspension of harbaugh for not knowing the rules a second time.

  81. whispersd says:
    May 18, 2016 4:26 PM
    Padgate

    Can we kill this thing where people use “-gate” as a suffix, PLEASE? I’ll even vote for Donald Trump’s comb-over if he can make this happen.

    ———————————————————

    Uh-oh…’Nogategate!’

  82. chazthespaz says:
    May 19, 2016 1:28 AM

    Every body cheats and wins. Ask the Pats. Am I lying?
    —————————

    Not the Jets. They cheat probably more than anyone, and still lose.

    Their cheating is even sanctioned by the league office.

  83. Conveniently left out the report that the rookies were in pads for 5 minutes. Can you create an advantage in 5 minutes with rookies in the offseason?

  84. swagger52 says:
    May 23, 2016 10:27 PM

    Conveniently left out the report that the rookies were in pads for 5 minutes. Can you create an advantage in 5 minutes with rookies in the offseason?
    ————————–

    The report clearly states that they were in pads for 5 minutes.

    The reason it was only 5 minutes is because a player let Harbaugh know what the rule was.

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