The Baltimore Ravens continue to prove that they have among the most stringent standards in the NFL when it comes to evaluating the physical fitness of their players, or the players they look to add to their team.
Over the course of the past three offseasons, they have now nullified the contracts of two free agent signings due to issue over that player’s physical. In 2018, they agreed to a deal with wide receiver Ryan Grant, only to fail him on his physical when he reported, wiping out the deal entirely.
Last week, the deal that had been agreed to in principle with Michael Brockers fell through, in part due to the uncertainty of his health status, which is limited in information availability during the current situation around the country as we grapple with a pandemic. After haggling over details, the plan fell through, and they turned around and signed Derek Wolfe.
Wolfe was only the second (actually third) attempted addition to the defensive line, of course. The headlining move was Calais Campbell, the long-time veteran first-team All-Pro defensive end who most recently served with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Ravens gave up a fifth-round pick and agreed to rework a new two-year deal for the 33-year old in order to pluck him out of the AFC South, but according to Campbell, his departure from Jacksonville as inevitable, and he chose to go to Baltimore.
He told reporters that there were several teams who were interested in him and that his team believed that they could get at least the same amount that he was scheduled to make in 2020 on a second year as part of a new deal.
“My agent wasn’t too happy about that, because he thought I was going to get a whole lot more”, he said. “But, I told him at this point in time in my career the main goal for me is winning. I’ve made a whole lot of money from this game, and to me, money has always played a small role. I love the game, the purity of it”.
He’s still making an eight-figure salary in each of the next two seasons, so he’s not exactly hurting for cash any time soon as long as he doesn’t become among the most frivolous spenders in recent history. He has already made in excess of $100 million over the course of his 12-year career, so I’m not exactly floored by his generosity.
“At the end of the day, to be in a locker room where I know they’re committed to winning and to be in a locker room where the culture is strong – it’s a very, very big-win culture – and I won’t have to chase around guys trying to get them to buy in; that was a big selling point”, he said. And to do that while adding millions upon your millions and millions is a fine consolation for that integrity of purity to the sport and the mission of striving to reach the peak of your profession.