The Baltimore Ravens were penalized by the NFL for violating league rules about offseason training activities and will lose their “final two OTAs this week,” while head coach John Harbaugh was fined $50,000 and franchise owner Steve Bisciotti was fined $100,000.
According to the Ravens, the penalty is because of contact made by defenders in pass coverage “during the early part of OTAs,” which isn’t allowed. Harbaugh claims that they’re doing “everything within [their] power and ability to practice within the rules,” which sounds nice and all.
Except for the fact that this is the third time Harbaugh and the Ravens have been penalized for offseason activities.
In 2010, Harbaugh and the Ravens were penalized for improper “intensity and tempo” and lost a week of practices. At the time, Harbaugh said, “It won’t happen again.”
In 2016, Harbaugh and the Ravens were penalized for “using full pads at a session during their rookie minicamp,” and lost a week of practice, while Harbaugh was fined $137,223 and the team was fined $343,057. The team released a statement saying, “We made a mistake and we are sorry for that.”
Please forgive us if we don’t believe Harbaugh this time around.
Imagine the outcry if if the New England Patriots had violated offseason league rules on three separate occasions. We know that the league penalized the Seattle Seahawks for “excessive on-field physical contact,” on three separate occasions in 2012, 2014, and 2016 and the Seahawks had to forfeit a fifth-round pick in addition to monetary fines.
So where’s the Ravens’ penalty? How many times does Baltimore get to break the league rules before they get in trouble? None of this would matter if they just listened to Tom Brady and studied the rulebook.