Ravens lose two days of OTAs, John Harbaugh and team fined for violating 'pass contact' rules

The Baltimore Ravens have lost two of their OTA days and both head coach John Harbaugh ($50,000) and the organization ($100,000) have been fined by the NFL for violating league rules regarding offseason workouts, as first reported by Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

The NFL made it official later Wednesday afternoon:

The Ravens violated “passing contact” rules

Under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, contact in any form is not allowed and “intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority.”

Harbaugh released a statement Wednesday that said he had emphasized the rules to his players:

We take very seriously reading, understanding, abiding by and playing by the rules… Our team has been singled out for pass coverage contact during the early part of OTAs. We have heavily emphasized these CBA pass coverage rules in meetings, and coached them diligently on the practice field. It has also been our priority to include our veteran players, along with new Ravens who have practiced and played for other teams, in the process and use their input and ideas… Even with consistent and repeated teaching, these rules pose considerable adjustments for the young players.

Harbaugh added that he, his fellow coaches and his players will continue to adjust going forward.

General manager Ozzie Newsome defended Harbaugh

Ozzie Newsome, who has been with an executive with the Ravens since 1996 and is stepping down after this season, also released his own statement, much of which is below:

We are vigilant about practicing within the Collective Bargaining rules. I am. John and his assistants are. I attend every practice and then watch the practices again on video. I see how the coaching staff teaches, corrects and addresses issues immediately on the field. In meetings, I have watched John’s presentations to his players and assistants regarding how to properly practice and the pace of these sessions.

The Ravens were also in trouble in 2016

Two offseasons ago, the Ravens found themselves in similar trouble. They lost three days of their rookie minicamp after putting their rookies in pads, another violation of league rules. While these types of mistakes may seem minor, the Ravens are only shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly, giving their young players and new acquisitions less time to get situated and losing valuable time together as a team.

John Harbaugh and the Ravens have been fined for having contact in their OTA workouts. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
John Harbaugh and the Ravens have been fined for having contact in their OTA workouts. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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