Cass: Ravens Are Ready For Post-Lockout

Ravens Team President Dick Cass responds to the owners’ ratification of the CBA.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Ravens Team President Dick Cass came away from Thursday’s owners meetings in Atlanta feeling encouraged.
If the NFLPA executive committee follows suit and ratifies the new collective bargaining agreement tonight or possibly tomorrow, the flood doors will open on Saturday.
“We’re ready for the season to begin and we’ve been preparing for this for many months,” Cass told Thursday from Atlanta. “Our coaches are ready, our scouts are ready. It’s going to be a lot of activity at the facility in the next week or so.”
On Saturday, players can report to team training facilities and clubs can begin to sign drafted rookies and their own free agents. They can also contact other teams’ free agents and undrafted rookie free agents.
Subject to NFLPA approval, Ravens training camp will begin on Wednesday. On the same day, teams may sign free agents and the trading period begins.
Cass was with Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti in Atlanta for the day-long question and answer session with owners on the new CBA, which was then followed by a vote. The CBA was ratified by a 31-0 vote with the Oakland Raiders reportedly abstaining, meaning the Ravens were in favor.
Cass said Baltimore had a “good idea” of what the deal entailed before the meeting began, but they received a much more complete description Thursday.
“The good news is we have approved an agreement that is fair to our fans, fair to our players and fair to the teams,” Cass said. “This gives us the basis to move forward and preserve competitive balance in the league and make the league stronger and better.”
Cass was particularly happy for Baltimore’s fans, who have shown their loyalty through the extended lockout.
“I think this is a great day for fans,” Cass said. “One of the provisions of the agreement that I think is really good is that it’s a 10-year agreement. So we’ve got labor peace for 10 years.
“We’ve managed to get a new CBA without losing any games and for the most part maintaining our schedule. Yes, the offseason has been modified, but the real season begins with training camp and hopefully, subject to the ratification, we will begin training camp next Wednesday, which is when we were actually scheduled to begin it.”

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