Oher Apparently Absent

The Ravens might have their first rookie holdout since 2006.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Categories: 2009 Training Camp, Mike Duffy

With every passing minute, the Ravens are getting closer and closer to their first rookie holdout in three years.

First-round draft pick Michael Oher had not arrived in Westminster, Md., for training camp as of Monday evening, indicating that both Oher and the Ravens have yet to reach an agreement on a contract.

Last season, quarterback Joe Flacco signed his contract on the first day of camp. In 2007, guard Ben Grubbs was on time.

But while Oher has been vocal about his desire to join his new team on Day 1, he may not be on the field for the two practices scheduled for Tuesday.

The fact that only four of the 32 first-round picks have signed makes Oher’s situation more difficult. Oher, the 23rd-overall selection, would typically command a contract in between No. 22, Minnesota Vikings wideout Percy Harvin, and the 24th pick, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry.

“Not too many first-round picks have signed yet, so a lot of that hinges on how that all slots out,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “The agent wants to make sure he does the right thing by Michael. And we want to make sure that we do the right thing by Michael, too. We want to get the best contract we can for him as soon as we can.

“It should happen pretty soon.”

The first-rounders who have signed include quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (first-overall to the Detroit Lions) and Mark Sanchez (5th, New York Jets), center Alex Mack (21st,Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Evander Hood (32nd, Pittsburgh Steelers).

At this point, Oher is penciled in as the starting right tackle, where he played all offseason after Willie Anderson retired and Adam Terry recovered from knee surgery.

Without Oher, the replacement would likely be Oniel Cousins or Joe Reitz if Terry is not at full-strength. Harbaugh is confident that

“I know he wants to be here. He’s said that many times,” Harbaugh stated. “Ozzie [Newsome] wants him to be here, and his agent wants him to be here.”

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