There has been much uncertainty about the status of Baltimore Ravens’ starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie. The 11-year veteran has had a tenuous preseason and contract negotiations past this season have all but broken down. McKinnie himself tweeted today around 12:15 p.m. EST that “the decision is made, I’m gone!”
Fast forward just over three hours later and McKinnie will actually remain a Raven, as he tweeted “This morning got a phone call sayin I’m gone, & just now ended up signing 2 remain a Raven.”
The re-structured terms of the deal have the 6-foot-8, 354-pounder earning approximately half of his slated 2012 salary of $3.2 million this season, with the opportunity to make his lost salary back in incentives.
It’s clear the Ravens still wanted McKinnie around, just under their conditions. By making him earn his original salary in incentives, the Ravens can see just how much the former Pro Bowler still has left in the tank. The offensive line for the Ravens is in a bit of a state of flux. They are not a very deep unit, especially after losing stud left guard Ben Grubbs in the offseason to the New Orlean Saints.
McKinnie has had a history of ups and downs in the NFL with both the Ravens and the Minnesota Vikings. Blessed with a huge frame, his intensity and toughness have often been challenged and it appears his future in Baltimore has come to a head. McKinnie can earn back his lost wages in his re-structured deal through incentives and prolong his career, or he can continue to to be inconsistent and potentially play himself out of the league.