Well it is a done deal. This week all eight draft picks were signed by the Baltimore Ravens, the first team to sign the entire draft class. The signings were a major accomplishment since typically draft picks aren’t signed so quickly, but thanks to the new rookie wage scale which largely determines salaries, the Ravens were able to seal the deal.
The signings came in time to start rookie camp on Friday. Thursday all new Ravens reported to the Ravens headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland, they signed contracts, got fitted for gear and had snapshots taken. They completed the first steps of the long, hard road to the 2012 football season.
While rookie camp may not sound exciting or sexy, it is a big deal for the players and for Ravens personnel. It is like freshman orientation for football players with a few months to prep for the final exam at the preseason games in August.
It is an exciting time for rookies. They just signed contracts to play for one of the elite NFL teams and they get to suit up and learn what it means to play like a Raven. Most are on Twitter and have been tweeting about their experiences and it is fun to read their tweets. Their dreams of becoming professional football players are coming true and it is easy to feel their excitement.
WR Tommy Streeter posted a picture of his new Ravens jersey; he simply said “black and purple”. It must have been an awesome feeling for him to see his jersey for the first time. I replied and told him I can’t wait to see him in it and wished him good luck at rookie camp.
As fans we have to trust that the Ravens selected the best available players to meet and fill their needs. Right now the buzz is all about LB Courtney Upshaw. He is likely to start this season since LB Terrell Suggs is out for an undisclosed period of time after tearing his Achilles tendon and undergoing surgery to repair it this week.
Upshaw was selected by the Ravens in the second round (35th overall) and played on the Alabama National Championship defense this year. It will be nice to see him in action so he can give us a preview of what we can expect from him this season.
Welcome to Charm City baby birds. We’re excited to have you here. You are fortunate to have signed with a first-class football organization with awesome fans. Baltimore is a football town, we live and breathe this stuff and we are extremely passionate about the Ravens. We can’t wait to see you suit up and see you in action.
Good luck at rookie camp. Pay attention, do your best and learn what it means to play like a Raven. The Ravens hope to be back in the fight for the championship and we need you to help make it happen.