The Ravens fought themselves rather than preparing for the Cleveland Browns
It’s always heartwarming to watch the Ravens’ meltdown, especially since they are a division rival, and they are also the Browns opening day opponent on September 13.
Thomas admits that he botched a coverage, and further says that he tried to accept blame on the spot, according to Jamison Henly of ESPN, “A mental error on my part. A busted coverage that I tried to explain calmly….”
Nevertheless, things escalated from there. Defensive backs are not known for their skills in either diplomacy or conflict resolution. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh and the other Ravens coaches apparently took the side of strong safety Chuck Clark versus Thomas.
The buzz is that the coaching staff is upset — suprisingly upset — with Thomas. But it’s not just the fact that he had a fight in summer camp. All NFL teams have training camp fights and shouting matches from time to time. In fact, Buddy Ryan, the architect of the old Chicago Bears blitz-happy defenses, didn’t see anything really wrong with it and used to tell his assistants to let the players just duke it out.
Thomas is a seven-time Pro Bowler, including last year with Baltimore after a nine-year stay in Seattle. He also was selected as an All-Pro three times. He is in the second year of a four year $55 million dollar contract which could arguably take him to Canton someday, so this is not someone that the Ravens would cut on a whim.
Nevertheless, Mike Florio of NBCSports has suggested that the Ravens may be considering their options to avoid having to pay $10 million of salary, based on a detrimental conduct clause in his contract.
They may be concerned about an alleged incident reported on last May 6 first reported by TMZ Sports, in which, according to police documents, Thomas was allegedly held at gunpoint by his wife after being discovered in the company of another woman.
A particularly frightening aspect of this story is that, according to TMZ, Mrs. Thomas thought that by taking out the magazine the gun could not fire, but in reality, the gun had a round in the chamber and was pointed at Thomas’ head (Folks, if you make the decision to keep guns in the house, regardless of your politics, please consider a gun safety course for everyone in the house. They are often free. We need you to stay alive to read Dawg Pound Daily for a long time).
So, it’s not simply that Thomas gets into it with his teammates in Summer camp, but also that his personal life has a bit more colorful than they were comfortable with. Possibly after the May incident, they were hoping to see evidence that his life is becoming more stable instead of less stable.
At the end of the day, we expect to see Thomas and Clark patch things up and play at their usual formidable level, as the most probable outcome, despite the headaches that they are presenting their team. The Ravens were the best team in football during the regular season last year so it will not be easy to beat them.
On the other hand, the Browns have beaten them in both 2018 and 2019, so they can be beaten, Thomas or no Thomas.