Denial That Haloti Ngata Rejected Lucrative Deal
If you go to NFL.com, you'll see this headline in large font: "Haloti Ngata rejected 'long-term' deal."
The headline is based on NFL Media's Albert Breer reporting the Ravens offered Ngata a "lucrative" long-term deal that was similar to the one they offered Terrell Suggs. The aim was to lower Ngata's reported $16 million cap hit this season and allow him to retire a Raven.
Breer noted that the deal, "simply didn't work."
The natural assumption the Webosphere took was that Ngata rejected the Ravens' offer, but CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora has more than one source who say that simply is not true.
"The idea that Haloti Ngata turned down any sort of lucrative contract extension w/BAL is unfounded, per multiple sources," La Canfora tweeted last night.
"Not even close."
It's important to note that neither Ngata nor the Ravens have spoken publicly on the matter. Neither have confirmed whether a deal was offered. The closest Ravens brass has even come to the topic was when General Manager Ozzie Newsome was asked about extending Ngata, and he didn't directly answer.
"We have reached out to two or three other players other than Terrell to try to do some extensions, yes," Newsome said at the combine in February, not specifically naming Ngata as one of those players.
In order to clear up exactly what happened, one of the two sides will need to go on record.
Some fans don't like the idea that Ngata didn't take an extension to lower his cap figure like Suggs. Putting aside for a second the fact we don't know whether that's true, Ngata isn't in the same situation as Suggs. Suggs was in the last year of his contract, while Ngata has two years left. If Suggs had been offered a new deal last year, nobody knows whether he would have accepted.
But, one can expect Ngata's contract to be a topic next offseason too. He is reportedly scheduled to make $16 million again next season.
"Ngata's contract will get addressed next year when he is in the final year of his deal," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "It's the same situation with Terrell Suggs this year."
Harbaugh 'Disappointed' McClain 'Quit' Workout
What's the Ravens' reaction to linebacker Rolando McClain's workout Tuesday?
As one might expect, Head Coach used the word "disappointment" when talking with ESPN's Jarett Bell.
But it's not just that Harbaugh was disappointed that McClain didn't pass his conditioning test. It's that McClain "quit" his conditioning test and didn't attempt to finish or push himself through, Bell explains in the video below. That was before he got to the actual linebacker drills. (Mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page to watch.)
McClain didn't* *offer any excuses when tweeting about the experience, but NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala told WNST that McClain spoke of having a migraine during the workout.
She also noted that McClain was 22 minutes late.
Considering how much McClain has spoken via social media and with reporters about how hard he has been working, many were surprised by his struggles. He reportedly said he was in the best shape of his career since being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior at Alabama in 2009.
"I'm really surprised because he was talking about it so much in a way that made you think he was extremely serious," Kinkhabwala said. "It wasn't something that was just a lark. It was something that I thought he was committed to. It's a real disappointment that he would waste Ozzie's time."
The question now is what will happen with McClain. Will the Ravens give him a third chance, and if not, will another team?
As Russell Street Report's Brian McFarland noted, McClain could force the next step by officially unretiring. The Ravens hold his rights, and they would either keep him or have to cut him.
Bell doesn't foresee another team taking a chance on McClain. If he has a future in the NFL, Bell says Baltimore is it.
Flacco Among Top-10 Paid Athletes In World
Joe Flacco's $120 million contract places him in the top-10 of the highest paid athletes in the world this year, according to ESPN the Magazine.
Making an average of $30 million a year, Flacco came in tied at No. 9 with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on the list. Among NFL players, Flacco was tied for No. 4 behind Aaron Rodgers ($40 million), Matthew Stafford ($31.5 million) and Tom Brady ($41 million).
There are some caveats to ESPN's methodology.
"The survey covered only athletes' salaries and prize money, and not endorsements. And one year of income isn't necessarily the best method to measure an athlete's earning power," wrote ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith. "There are NBA and Major League Baseball players who average more money than Rodgers, Stafford and [Tom] Brady over the length of their contracts, just none who made as much as those three quarterbacks last year. The ESPN methodology also may have counted players' signing bonuses as having been received at the time a new contract was signed, even if in reality the contract is structured so that the player has to wait to receive some of his bonus money."
With that in mind, here's the top 10:
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.: $73.5 million (boxing)
- Cristiano Ronaldo: $50.2 million (soccer)
- Lionel Messi: $50.1 million (soccer)
- Aaron Rodgers: $40 million (football)
- Zlatan Ibrahimović: $35 million (soccer)
- Matthew Stafford: $31.5 million (football)
- Tom Brady: $31 million (football)
- Kobe Bryant: $30.5 million (basketball)
- Matt Ryan: $30 million (football)
- Joe Flacco: $30 million (football)
- Zack Greinke: $28 million (baseball)
Ravens Really Interested In Sam?
Not because Sam will become the NFL's first openly gay player, but because he doesn't fit the Ravens' defensive scheme and they have bigger needs.
"Sam struggled in space at the Senior Bowl practices, increasing questions about his ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense," Hensley wrote. "He's also not big enough to line up at end in a 3-4 defense.
"So, are the Ravens really interested in Sam? I can see Baltimore valuing Sam as a role player. The Ravens may use one of their last picks (a compensatory pick in the fifth round along with a sixth-round selection) on Sam because they view him as a situational pass-rusher and a core special teams player."
- Would the Ravens be interested in signing Eric Winston to play right tackle? "Winston played six years for [Offensive Coordinator Gary] Kubiak, so there is a connection," Hensley wrote. "But Ravens coach John Harbaugh recently said there are no current talks with him. So, don't expect anything to happen with him before the draft." [ESPN]
- "The Ravens need to take a running back in this year's draft, because they need insurance not only for this season but for the future," wrote Hensley. "The best investment the Ravens could make in the middle rounds is to select a running back such as Towson's Terrance West, Washington's Bishop Sankey, Florida State's Devonta Freeman, Boston College's Andre Williams or West Virginia's Charles Sims." [ESPN]
- For those that wanted to see him in Baltimore … RapSheet: Chris Johnson's 2-year deal with #Jets is worth $8 million, source says. He can earn $1M more in incentives. Impressive deal this offseason [Twitter]
- @BPierce_30: What I do is not a cake walk... Day in and day out. Weight room every other, hour of cardio everyday rehab, stretch and sauna... 5 hour day! [Twitter]
- Yes, Sizzle, it is sadly true. It snowed in April. …@TeamSizzleFilms: Is it true that it snowed in Baltimore yesterday? [Twitter]
- @l_webb21: Getting back to normal! [Instagram]