The Baltimore Ravens have made big changes to their defensive line this offseason, including making a trade for Calais Campbell, subsequently re-signing him to a new, two-year contract worth $25 million. Aside from Campbell, they also added Michael Brockers via unrestricted free agency, signing him to a new-year, $30 million contract.
Or have they? Well, not yet they haven’t, anyway.
Brockers ended the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Rams dealing with an ankle injury. Because all facilities are closed and all NFL-related travel is prohibited, the Ravens are currently unable to bring him in for a physical, and it will be a while before that is possible. They can only go by an independent physical local to Brockers.
This is reportedly holding up making the veteran defensive lineman’s deal to join Baltimore official, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, via CBS Sports. “It’s been challenging for the Ravens to get a handle on Brockers’ condition” due to the circumstances, he writes.
Sound familiar? There’s a reason that the Pittsburgh Steelers have announced every other move they have made this offseason aside from the reported two-year, $12 million contract given out to free agent tight end Eric Ebron.
Like Brockers, Ebron dealt with a bothersome ankle last season, in fact, one that proved severe enough that he opted for season-ending surgery with five games remaining. The Steelers yesterday made the free agent contacts with Stefen Wisniewski and Derek Watt official, for example. They have already done an interview with Chris Wormley, acquired via trade from the Ravens.
The Steelers and Ravens are in very similar situations, as are all teams who are trying to bring in players who have some sort of injury history. It’s worth noting that a couple of years ago Baltimore agreed to sign a wide receiver to a contract, but when he came in to have his physical, they failed him. He would shortly after sign a contract with another team who passed him on their physical.
According to Zrebiec, the uncertainty even have the Ravens briefly interested in Ndamukong Suh before he re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Brockers is still ultimately expected to sign with the Ravens officially before all is said and done.
This is so far one of the most significant ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has directly had on the NFL, in addition to the complete closure of all team facilities down to only essential personnel, and the banning of all travel, preventing teams from visiting any pro days (which aren’t even happening) or bringing in prospects for pre-draft visits.