Does the University of Miami require football players to take drama classes?
This offseason, former Hurricane standouts Ed Reed and Bryant McKinnie have occupied the headlines in Baltimore.
Earlier this morning, McKinnie posted via his twitter account:
Reports have bounced around the internet of various text messages sent by McKinnie to local media outlets. It was first reported by Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun that if McKinnie and the Ravens were unable to strike a mutually acceptable restructured deal it could lead to his dismissal. McKinnie later texted “it’s not over yet,” which leads to confusion amongst many who are trying to figure out the exact details of the developments inside 1 Winning Drive.
If McKinnie is released, it comes as bad timing for the Ravens because they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in just six days.
The financially troubled McKinnie is due to make $3.2 million this season but will see 50% of his wages garnished by the team to help repay a $4 million “lockout loan” he defaulted on once released by the Minnesota Vikings last season. The loan carries an additional $500,000 of interest that McKinnie must pay back.
According to Wilson, the Ravens had asked McKinnie to take a 50% pay cut in order to stay with the team. McKinnie had offered to take a pay cut but not at the percentage the Ravens had requested.
If McKinnie is removed from the Ravens roster, they’ll save $2.2 million against the salary cap for this season.
McKinnie has had a long offseason and has fallen out of favor with many Ravens fans after the team paid him a $500,000 roster bonus in March. Even though he was present for OTA’s, McKinnie was held out of minicamp for conditioning concerns.
The Ravens’ concern increased, as McKinnie was a no-show and reported three days late to training camp. It was revealed later that McKinnie had fallen in his home and suffered a strained muscle in his lower back as a result of the fall.
When on the field, McKinnie spent most of his time with the second-team offensive line at left tackle. The Ravens were giving Michael Oher the majority of reps at left the position and using rookie second-round pick Kelechi Osemele at right tackle as a contingency plan in case McKinnie wasn’t able to perform.
Now that McKinnie may be out the door, the snaps and continuity gained between the remaining members of the offensive line seems to be time well spent as the team prepares to potentially move on.
McKinnie’s announcement comes as a surprise because all signs pointed to him starting the season as the team’s primary left tackle. During the Ravens’ major preseason dress rehearsal against the Jacksonville Jaguars, McKinnie started and played extensively. He was then held out of the preseason finale with the majority of the starters to make sure they remained healthy and rested for the beginning of the season.
Regardless of what ends up happening, McKinnie declining a pay cut was a scenario Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the Ravens front office had planned for as a realistic possibility. The organizational confidence in Osemele must be extremely high, as the rookie will start the season at right tackle if McKinnie isn’t on the roster in six days.
John Harbaugh will hold his weekly press conference today at 4:00 p.m. and more information should be released at that time.
UPDATE: According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, McKinnie and the Ravens have agreed on a restructured deal to keep the left tackle in Baltimore. La Canfora also reported that the agreement did not extend McKinnie’s contract past the 2012 season.
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