It was a whirlwind day for the Ravens and tackle Bryant McKinnie as the two went through contract renegotiations.
But at the end of all of it, McKinnie is still in purple and black.
"He never left us," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm excited about Bryant; I always have been."
McKinnie **tweeted this morning** that he was "gone" from Baltimore after getting a phone call from his agent. Just a couple hours later, he was in the Ravens facility signing a new deal.
According to The Baltimore Sun, McKinnie was set to make $3.2 million in base salary this season. The report says the Ravens asked him to take a 50-percent cut.
That was too much for McKinnie, as he told WNST in a phone interview after signing, but they reportedly settled on $2.2 million contract with incentives that could get McKinnie back to his original $3.2 million, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport.
McKinnie, 32, told WNST that the Ravens approached him about renegotiating his contract, but did not tell him why they wanted to do so.
"It was a weird conversation," he said. "There was nothing that was actually said that they didn't believe I wasn't a high-caliber player."
McKinnie said he was fine with restructuring a deal because it was "maybe a bit high," but still wanted to be paid as a left tackle.
"We had to come to an agreement where it couldn't have been like, 'C'mon now, I'm playing left tackle. That's a hard position as it is,'" McKinnie said.
Whether McKinnie will be the Ravens' starting left tackle in six days when they square off against the Cincinnati Bengals remains to be seen. He did start in the third preseason game, which is considered the most reflective of what fans should expect to see during the regular season.
But McKinnie indicated that the Ravens expressed doubt in their recent meeting.
"The thing [they said] was, 'Oh, I'm not sure if you're [in] our top five offensive linemen or not,'" McKinnie said. "All of a sudden I don't know where this came from either. I was just thrown off by the whole thing."
McKinnie was asked if it was his assumption that he would be starting at left tackle on Monday night.
"I think that's the assumption everybody had when I was in that third preseason game until I was called into their offense yesterday," he said.
The Ravens frequently practiced with Michael Oher at left tackle and second-round pick Kelechi Osemele at right tackle this offseason, and coaches have maintained that it was a competition.
After missing the first three days of training camp due to a back injury, and while he was trying to get into better shape, McKinnie played behind Oher and Osemele. He started to earn back that position back as training camp progressed.
Harbaugh didn't show his cards on who will start versus Cincinnati. The head coach said McKinnie is still working towards the Pro Bowl form the two agreed to set as a goal last winter.
"Just like I told Bryant, I've got a lot of respect for him as a football player," Harbaugh said. "I love his style of play. We're going to be strong upfront. We're going to have a strong offensive line and he's a big part of that."
Harbaugh said he doesn't expect today's whirlwind to distract the team, and McKinnie is moving on.
"At the end of the day, being a professional you've got to know it's a business and you've got to put it behind you," McKinnie said. "We've got to concentrate on the Cincinnati Bengals coming in here on Monday and figure out what my role is. I have no clue."