Hours before getting sized for his Super Bowl ring on Wednesday, Baltimore Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie admitted it could still be several weeks until it is determined whether he will return to the Super Bowl XLVII champions for the upcoming season.
In an interview with WNST in Baltimore, the veteran offensive lineman indicated that talks with the Ravens on a new contract could be tabled until after the NFL Draft. McKinnie, who will turn 34 in September, is entering his 12th NFL season.
"I definitely want a starting job," McKinnie said. "I want it to be fair for somebody to beat me out of my position instead of saying you want to try something new. Give me the opportunity to actually be fair and let somebody beat me out for the position."
McKinnie (6-feet-8, 354 pounds) is coming off a stellar postseason when he earned rave reviews from Ravens coach John Harbaugh. With a slimmed-down McKinnie in the starting lineup, the Ravens were able to move Michael Oher to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele to right guard. At times during McKinnie's two seasons in Baltimore he has been trapped in Harbaugh's doghouse for a poor work ethic and an inability to keep his weight down.
After starting all 16 games with the Ravens in 2011, McKinnie reported late and out of shape to training camp last summer. McKinnie, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Vikings, was nearly released by the Ravens, but unexpectedly accepted a pay cut of $1 million to remain with the team. Still, he didn't receive his first start in 2012 until the postseason.
McKinnie, Bengals right tackle Andre Smith and former Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston remain on the open market.
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