Flacco will miss end-of-month camp

NFL-NCAA rule comes into play

QB not expected to hold out from July training

Ravens' top draft pick

May 15, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

Quarterback Joe Flacco is not expected to hold himself out of training camp, but the Ravens' first-round draft pick will be absent for the rest of the month.

Because of a long-standing NFL-NCAA rule, Flacco will miss a four-day passing camp at the end of May and will not return to Ravens headquarters until after May 30, the last day of exams at the University of Delaware.

The agreement between the NFL and the NCAA, which came with the encouragement of the American Football Coaches Association, limits a player to one minicamp with a pro team while his school is still in session.

Flacco, who attended the Ravens' mandatory minicamp last weekend, can't participate in team activities this month, even though he has already withdrawn from school. He would have missed next week's rookie minicamp, but the Ravens have rescheduled those workouts for next month.

The 18th overall pick in the draft, Flacco will practice at two passing camps in June before reporting to training camp in July.

Asked about Flacco missing some workouts, his agent, Joe Linta, said: "It doesn't help, but I don't know how much it will hurt. He's a very cerebral kid."

Linta and the Ravens have already made some headway in getting Flacco to training camp on time.

The sides met Monday to discuss the framework of a five-year contract, and they are expected to talk again by the end of next week.

"They want the kid in, I want the kid in, and the kid wants the kid in," Linta said. "I have this blue-collar belief: If you start now, you have a much better chance to finish this thing than if you start three days before training camp."

The sides are trying to avoid what happened last year with Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn. The 22nd overall pick held out of training camp for 11 days before signing a five-year, $20.2 million contract that included a $7.75 million signing bonus.

If Flacco reports when Ravens training camp begins, he will have a better shot at beating out Kyle Boller and Troy Smith for the starting quarterback job.

"I can't envision a scenario where either one of us is going to yell," Linta said. "I'm really adamant at getting him in there."

Note -- Ravens linebacker Bart Scott's jersey No. 32 was retired yesterday at Southeastern High School in Detroit. Scott has supported the school's football team by paying for new uniforms and weight room equipment. "I am overwhelmed and overjoyed by this honor," Scott said. "As an undrafted rookie free agent, you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than making it in the NFL, but my mantra is, `A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.' I'm a living, walking, breathing example that lightning does strike and that dreams do come true." ... The other Ravens draft pick affected by the NFL-NCAA rule is safety Haruki Nakamura, a sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati. Because Cincinnati doesn't finish exams until June 12, he is expected to miss all of the offseason workouts except for the rookie minicamp.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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