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Rival Report 5/27: Baltimore Ravens forfeit 3 OTA practices for violating CBA practice rules

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens are likely regretting their decision to put their rookies in pads for just a moment during their rookie mini camp. It was about 5 minutes of practice time where John Harbaugh "mistakenly" put his players in full pads and trotted them out for a special teams punt protection drill and some one on one drills, but they are now paying a hefty price for that decision.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement stated that there should be no padded practices until training camp, which John Harbaugh interpreted to mean that the full team can't practice in pads. With that incorrect interpretation (AKA, trying to sidestep the agreed upon rules through a perceived technicality) in mind, the Ravens put their rookies in pads for a moment during their rookie mini-camp. This was a no-no, and now the Ravens have been punished by the NFL for it.

Baltimore must give up 3 Organized Team Activities for their infraction of the rules, along with $500,000 worth of fines handed out to the team and Coach Harbaugh. To satisfy this punishment the team has cancelled their upcoming week of OTA's  and won't return to the field until the week of June 6th. John Harbaugh is taking the blame fully for his mistake.

"It’s what they decided was appropriate, so we’ll respect that," Coach Harbaugh told the media after the ending of Thursday’s OTA, "It’s what they decided was appropriate, so we’ll respect that. The only thing I really can say about that is the same thing that I told the players. … I said, ‘There’s not one player or one coach in this room that should worry about it for one second.’ They shouldn’t have any anxiety about it because it’s on me. It’s completely me. It was my decision, it was my effort."

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