The Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh have been punished by the NFL for breaking the rule requiring rookie minicamp to consist only of non-contact practices without pads.
“We made a mistake and we are sorry for that. We accept the NFL discipline,” the Ravens said in a statement.
That discipline will consist of a fine for both Harbaugh individually and the Ravens as a team, as well as forfeiting their OTAs which had been scheduled to take place June 1-3.
The Ravens used the word “mistake” in their statement, but the NFL reportedly believes that the Ravens knew the rule against full-pad practices at rookie minicamp and violated it anyway. That’s not a mistake, it’s a conscious effort to break a rule that all teams must abide by.
The decision to fine the Ravens and dock them some practices is consistent with language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that says more stringent penalties — including losing draft picks — will only be imposed if a team breaks the rule multiple times in a year. But in a league where there’s a widespread belief that the rules are enforced inconsistently, fans of other teams will surely say the Ravens are getting off easy.