Flying a bit under the radar is the fact that while all the talk about signing or re-signing veteran free agents, the Baltimore Ravens have been busy behind the scenes, as they have signed all but two of their draft picks in a flurry of activity. According to a story posted on BaltimoreRavens.com, only first round pick Jimmy Smith and third round selection Jah Reid remain unsigned, but their slotting in the new rookie wage scale should make this only a formality to soon get done.
Unfortunately, until they do sign their pro contracts, they cannot step out onto the playing field and practice with their teammates, who start practicing at 1pm this afternoon. At the same time, due to the new CBA rules, teams cannot put on the pads and hit each other until at least August 4th, and both guys figure to be inked to deals by then if not a lot sooner.
Based on the shorter time to prepare for the pre- and regular season, do not expect any players, at least on the Ravens to hold out. With padded practice not starting until August 4th, the Ravens will have only one week to prepare for their first exhibition game on August 11th, at the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid has been sighted at the Ravens Practice Facility and at 6'7" with long dreads, is not easily missed. Smith should be in camp and ready to practice the moment his pen hits the paper. No worry on these two guys who figure to compete for starting spots and the more reps they can get in practice will only help themselves as well as the team.