Oher Holdout: It's Official

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Rookie offensive tackle Michael Oher showed a lot of promise when he played with the first team in offseason minicamps.

While the Ravens would like to see him continue that through training camp, Oher can't until he arrives in Westminster, Md., ready to sign his new contract.

Oher's holdout officially began as the 6-foot-4, 309-pounder was not on the field for either of the Ravens' initial two practices.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh remained hopeful that both sides could come to an agreement.

And the sooner, the better.

"It already has started to hamper his ability," Harbaugh said of Oher's holdout. "We think every day is important. We've said that before. We want every guy here every single day.

"But, there are other issues involved. The sooner Michael gets in, the better he's going to be, and the better team we're going to be. I know Michael Oher wants to be here."

A major factor to Oher's absence is a lack of other first round picks with deals in place.

There are only four draft picks signed out of 32. That group includes quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (first-overall to the Detroit Lions) and Mark Sanchez (5th, New York Jets), center Alex Mack (21st, Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Evander Hood (32nd, Pittsburgh Steelers).

As the 23rd-overall pick, Oher's contract would fall between the 22nd selection, Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, and No. 24, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry.

"The agent wants to make sure he does the right thing by Michael," Harbaugh stated Monday. "And we want to make sure that we do the right thing by Michael, too. We want to get the best contract we can for him as soon as we can.

"It should happen pretty soon."

The Ravens figure to be fairly thin at tackle considering Adam Terry, Oher's primary competition to start on the right side, and Joe Reitz were placed on the Physically Unable to Play list Tuesday.

Oher had previously been adamantly against a holdout, something that hasn't happened to the Ravens since 2006, when Haloti Ngata missed one day of practice.

"I'm not the type of guy for a holdout. I love football and want to keep getting better as fast as I can," Oher said in July. "That starts with training camp.

"I'm going to leave it up to him, but I don't want it to get too out of hand. I want to be there to play from the start."

If Oher does not report by Thursday - the first day veterans will join the rookies and quarterbacks on the field - and Terry is not activated, his likely replacement will be Oniel Cousins.

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