Late For Work 6/12: 60,000 Reasons Not To Skip Mandatory Minicamp

Surprised Mason retired a Raven? Next Raven to be revealed? Projecting 2013 salary cap.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 9:05 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

60,000 Reasons Not To Skip Mandatory Minicamp

With the exception of running back Ray Rice, it is already assumed the Ravens would have a perfect attendance record starting today at mandatory minicamp.

But the new CBA makes it an even more likely scenario.

Rice isn’t under contract and is therefore not required to attend. The only other person in question is safety Ed Reed since he recently said he wasn’t sure if he was 100 percent committed to the season and has considered retiring.

Most expect Reed to attend – including Head Coach John Harbaugh and Owner Steve Bisciotti – but if Reed or any other Raven needs a little extra motivation, here’s 60,000 reasons not to skip.

“Boycotting mandatory offseason workouts isn’t as cheap as it used to be,” wrote ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio.

“Under the new labor deal, which was finalized after any mandatory minicamps would have been conducted in 2011, the maximum fines for skipping the three-day, non-voluntary practice sessions have increased.  Significantly.”

The new CBA indicates a player who skips one day of mandatory camp can be fined up to $10,000, two days skipped adds another $20,000 (total $30,000), and skipping for a third day can add another $30,000.

Thus, the total possible fine for skipping all of camp is $60,000. That’s compared to the $10,000 some players have been fined in the past for missing all three days.

Florio added that a player can also be subject to a partial forfeiture of bonuses or a waiver of remaining contract guarantees.

That means anyone unhappy with his current deal – Reed said he’s tried to renegotiate his contract – might not want to use minicamp as leverage.

Surprised Mason Retired A Raven?

Not surprisingly, the first question thrown to Derrick Mason at his press conference yesterday was why he chose Baltimore over Tennessee as his retirement home.

Even though he currently resides in Nashville, was drafted by the Titans and was selected to two Pro Bowls there, Mason said it was an easy decision because his heart is still in Baltimore.

You can’t argue with a man’s heart, right?

While admitting he is probably in the minority, ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley said he is still surprised by Mason’s choice.

“This isn’t intended as a shot at Mason,” Hensley wrote. “To me, Mason just doesn’t fit in the list of players who previously decided to retire as Ravens like Jonathan Ogden and Matt Stover. When you thought of those players, you thought of the Ravens. When I think of Mason, I think of him as much a member of the Titans as the Ravens. Even Jamal Lewis didn’t retire as a Raven. …

I still won’t remember Mason as just a Raven. But I will remember him as a receiver who played with an attitude and went underappreciated over his NFL career.”

Not everyone is as surprised.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome said that Mason was one of the best, if not the best, free-agent signings in franchise history. That list includes Shannon Sharpe, Sam Adams, Michael McCrary and Rod Woodson.

NFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky pointed out that Mason is more connected to the players and coaches in Baltimore than the ones in Tennessee now, considering he left seven years ago. His former head coach Jeff Fisher (St. Louis Rams) and the late-Steve McNair are no longer around the Tennessee franchise.

What do you think? Will you always remember Mason as a Raven, a Titan, or just a great NFL receiver?

Next Raven To Be Revealed?

Another Raven will be revealed on NFL Network’s Top 100 of 2012 tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

Who will it be?

Whoever it is, he will be ranked among the top 30 to 21 players and was on last year’s list, which included Ray Lewis (No. 4), Reed (No. 5), Haloti Ngata (No. 17), Terrell Suggs (No. 40) and Rice (No. 56).

So either Suggs or Rice has moved up, or Lewis, Reed or Ngata moved back. Since Suggs is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, I would think he would be higher than 30-21, but you never know with these lists.

By the time the entire list unfolds, the Ravens will have a total of seven players named, tied for the most of any team (49ers and Eagles). Joe Flacco (No. 74) and Vonta Leach (No. 45) have already been listed in the 2012 rankings.

Projecting 2013 Salary Cap

We know the Ravens are strapped for salary-cap cash this season, but how are things looking for 2013?

The organization appears to be in a solid position so far, according to ESPN analyst John Clayton’s projections.

Baltimore currently has $15 million of cap space available, which ranks eighth in the league.

Even though there are 24 other teams with less wiggle room, Hensley believes the Ravens could stand to free up some more cash.

“Of course, the Ravens could use more considering quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and safety Ed Reed will be free agents.”

Quick Hits

  • “The way Mason played, more than his numbers, should headline his legacy in Baltimore,” wrote John Eisenberg.  “[H]is most defining quality can’t be quantified. You had to watch Mason play week after week and year after year to understand how tough he was.” [CSNBaltimore.com]
  • CaryWilliams29: #Salute @deemason85 Raven for life… [Twitter]
  • The focus will be on the running backs when the Ravens open mandatory minicamp today. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • _KIDRaven_[Asa Jackson]: Too happy to b back with my new fam #Ravensnation [Twitter]
  • TorreySmithWR: It’s raining outside which means we will practice indoors today….I hate it!!! The ball is so hard to see [Twitter]
  • Thoroughbred954 [WR Dorian Graham]: This rain is killin the vibe! #sheeesh [Twitter]
  • AdamSchefter: As OCNN reported, WR Chad @ochocinco signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. [Twitter]

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