The Baltimore Ravens and Coach John Harbaugh have been fined by the NFL and will forfeit one week of organized team activities as punishment for violating rules by putting rookies and first-year players in pads.
“We made a mistake and we are sorry for that,” the team said in announcing the punishment. “We accept the NFL discipline.”
The Ravens will forfeit one week of organized team activities June 1-3. Baltimore has one more set of OTAs after that, June 6-9. The Ravens, according to ESPN’s Jim Trotter, were fined $343,057 and Harbaugh was fined $137,223. The mandatory minicamp June 14-16 is unaffected.
Ravens officials had claimed that they believed the rules applying to OTAs did not apply to minicamp, and when NFL Players Association representative Benjamin Watson was told differently by the union, players were pulled off the field. A team source told ESPN that rookies and tryout players were in pads for five minutes for a punt-protection drill.
Six years ago, the Ravens had to cancel the final week of OTAs after six players told the union about late meetings and two others reported that they had been held on the field too long after practice.
Since 2011, when the league and players signed off on the last collective bargaining agreement, there have been stricter rules about contact drills, with teams not allowed to wear full pads until training camp opens in July.