If left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie was holding out of team conditioning sessions and multiple off season mini-camps, there would be major concern because he might report to training camp as bloated as an inflatable doll.
But I have no concern about running back Ray Rice missing voluntary conditioning, which started Monday.
I have more concerns about Jah Reid being flexible enough to play left guard, and ancient center Matt Birk lasting another season. I am more worried about outside linebacker Paul Kruger being able to hold the edge on running plays and whether Sergio Kindle can develop into a top pass rusher.
I'm not sweating Ray Rice.
In case you didn't know, the Ravens have designated Rice, the fifth-year running back out of Rutgers, their franchise player, and he will make $7.7 million this season if he doesn't reach a long-term agreement with the team by July 16th.
Until then, the two sides will negotiate, and Rice has the option of participating in offseason workouts or holding out — a preferred practice by agents because it puts pressure on team officials to reach an agreement.
Fans around town are getting a little nervous and concerned about Rice's absence and its impact on the team. It's understandable because Rice was the centerpiece of the offense last season. He rushed for 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns and had another 704 yards on 76 catches. At the age of 25, he is about to enter his peak and has become one of the team's leaders which is why some folks are getting upset about him being a potential no-show.
But there is no need to stress out. If he was former Ravens defensive tackle Sam Adams, we'd all panic.
Ray Rice, though, is a muscle head. His skin is on too tight because he loves to work out. So while he may not be over at The Castle, he is working out five times a week with his personal trainer.
Rice went through a transformation last year. He has always been a gym rat, but once the Ravens cut veterans Todd Heap, a tight end, and receiver Derrick Mason shortly before the 2011 season, Rice assumed more leadership responsibilities.
He practiced harder. He was more vocal inside The Castle, and became a go to player for the media when things weren't going well. Rice would rather be with his team today, but is following the advice of his agent to stay away.
Like most players, Rice will lose the public relations game with the fans. In an economic climate where unemployment is still high and gas nearly $4 per gallon, few can sympathize with a player holding out for several more million.
If we all had such problems ...
The negative attitude toward Rice will last as long as it takes for him to break off a 58-yard touchdown run or run for more than 100 yards against those hated Pittsburgh Steelers.
If the lockout from a year ago proved one thing, it's that all of these offseason mini-camps aren't necessary. They are good for young players, but not for veterans like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed or even Rice.
A year ago, I was more concerned about the Ravens missing practice time because head coach John Harbaugh had revamped the offense and the running game by bringing in a new fullback Vonta Leach.
If Rice caught on last year, he'll be up to par this season.
Harbaugh won't be making a big deal of Rice's absences, and neither will general manager Ozzie Newsome or offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
It's business as usual.
They are more concerned about the upcoming draft, and whether receiver Torrey Smith can learn to catch better with his hands than his body. They want to know if Reed will retire today and announce his comeback tomorrow.
They want to know if Michael Oher will ever be a left tackle, or if he'll have to settle in on the right side.
He isn't a top concern at the moment, and shouldn't be.
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