Matt Elam isn’t putting any pressure on the Baltimore Ravens. He’s putting most of the pressure on himself.
Why Elam hasn’t signed an agent is beyond me. I understand there is structure and the contract negotiations have to be just right for the rookie, but this is crazy. Ed Reed didn’t have an agent entering the last couple of years of his last contract with the Ravens either.
But you see, that’s Reed — a player that will see his name enshrined in Canton, Ohio some day. Elam has done nothing of the sort yet, and it remains to be seen if he could reach starter status at all.
This is an easy way to put pressure on yourself. Even though Elam is playing strong safety and Reed played free safety for most of his career, Elam is the face of the defensive backfield whether he notices it or not. If things don’t go well to start the season due to a holdout, a lot of questions will be pointed towards him and the slow progress made with this contract during the offseason.
I’m sure people are saying the Ravens are part of the signing process as well, and it is their job to get this done just as much as it is Elam’s. But you see, the rookie wage scale put a lot of pressure off of teams with the new collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011. Most of the pressure is on Elam now.
It’s still too early to be critical of Elam to some degree with his contract situation given the fact that training camp hasn’t even started yet. But if Elam is to miss multiple days of camp, the word pressure will be an understatement.