Ravens To Garnish McKinnie's 2012 Wages
READER MAILBAG: OPENING-NIGHT MEMORIES, FLACCO VS. RYAN
By Joe Platania
On the field, Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie is slowly working his way back into the team's good graces.
Despite a short holdout -- the result of what McKinnie said was a fall at his home that injured his back -- the second-year Raven and decade-long NFL veteran is still bringing his bulky physique and wizened experience to an offensive line lacking in certainty.
But off the gridiron, McKinnie is going to become almost as light in the wallet as he is heavy in the waistline.
According to a published report, McKinnie's Ravens paycheck is going to be garnished this year by as much as 50 percent in order to repay a loan he took out to protect himself during last spring and summer's four-month-long NFL lockout.
Although the Ravens have had a long-standing policy to not discuss players' finances -- they usually disclose the lengths of players' contracts, but not the financial terms, leaving that up to the agents -- It is thought to be the first time the team has had to take this action against any of its on-field personnel.
A New York-based company known as Pro Player Funding reached a settlement with McKinnie this week to have the team garnish roughly half his 2012 base salary, which is thought to be $3.2 million.
McKinnie earned an additional $500,000 roster bonus in March, a sign the team had faith that the University of Miami product would report to camp in shape this year after displaying a lack of stamina in games during the 2011 campaign.
McKinnie also received a $1.5 million performance bonus not long before the roster bonus. According to the publishd report, it now appears that both of those checks were garnished to the tune of an undisclosed amount.
All told, documents have shown that McKinnie borrowed a total of $4.5 million to cover his expenses during the lockout, which began on March 11, 2011, the day the league year began with its free-agency signing and trading period.
The players' association de-certified in order to fight the owners in the courts, a maneuever that proved successful during the protracted labor battles of the late 1980s. This time around, a stay of the lockout was actually granted in late April -- in the middle of NFL Draft weekend -- before being reinstated by a three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court in St. Louis.
Many players took out loans with Pro Player Funding and other organizations designed to assist players to help themselves stay afloat financially during the lockout, arranging for various repayment modes in the process.
For example, McKinnie and the Minnesota Vikings -- for whom he played at the time -- had a deal worked out whereby the team would transfer payments owed to him directly to PPF. But when the Vikings released McKinnie, that move reportedly also released Minnesota from the obligation of making that payment.
This year, McKinnie incurred a $30,000 daily fine for missing the early part of training camp, further exacerbating his financial troubles.
McKinnie was supposed to report with the rest of the veterans on their administrative day, which was Wednesday, July 25. Reports have varied in terms of how much he was eventually fined, but he was reported to have been in Baltimore on Sunday, July 29.
If that is true, then McKinnie would have been docked $120,000 in fines for missing Wednesday through Saturday.
The Ravens did not practice on July 29, as it was their first off day of training camp and the only day during a 12-day stretch (including rookie workouts) they were not on the field, a streak that ended with last Saturday's stadium practice.
JOEY P'S TRIVIA TIME: Today's question:
Even though the Ravens' special-teams coverage units did not perform all that well last year, they were still filled with the same kind of young, hungry players that have to earn their keep on such units before playing on regular offense or defense.
With that as a hint, can you name the player who led the Ravens in regular-season special-teams tackles in 2011?
The answer will be revealed at the bottom of Tuesday's post-practice entry.
MAILBAG: Our weekly look at Baltimore football history included an item about the Ravens' first-ever preseason game at the facility now known as M&T Bank Stadium, a 19-14 win against the visiting Chicago Bears in 1998.
That sparked the memory of "twilson," who e-mailed us and recalled:
"At first, I was against the idea of a new stadium, particularly since it was built with taxpayer money. I thought it was a supreme waste of time and dollars, because to me, Memorial Stadium was good enough for a long time.
"But that night, my son and I attended the Ravens-Bears game, and I was so struck by how clean the concourses and restrooms were and how accomodating and friendly the ushers behaved. Sure, it was the first night, and they wanted to put on a good face, but I left that night thinking it was money well-spent!"
Of course, what would any mailbag be without a comment from regular contributor "Mr. Bad Example"? He weighed in on our item about Joe Flacco and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan:
"Everyone gives Ryan kudos because he took over the Falcons in the wake of Vick's dog-fighting scandal which led to Atlanta's overall number one pick. What most people don't realize is [that] Ryan was taking over a team that was a lot better offensively than the Ravens at that same time.
"Two QBs with ties to the Ravens tell the tale of the tape. [Derek Anderson] was finishing a Pro Bowl year with the Browns. Meanwhile, Chris Redman was inserted to mop up the final five games for Atlanta. Redman outperformed [Anderson] by a wide margin over the last five games. That's the offense Ryan inherited. Meanwhile, the Ravens were finishing Billick's last year, and offense was rarely a reason for a win."
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CORRECTION: In yesterday's afternoon entry, the "Infirmary" rundown excluded newly signed linebacker Darryl Blackstock, who also missed the Monday practice with the groin problem he incurred during the M&T Bank Stadium workout on Saturday.
Ravens Report regrets the error.
Posted Aug. 7, 2012