Remember when Tom Brady told the Ravens to "study the rulebook" back in January of 2015?
Brady's quip became relevant again this week, when the NFL reportedly began investigating the Ravens for using full pads during rookie minicamp. As ESPN reported, the Ravens broke out the pads because they didn't realize the CBA rules, which don't allow full pads to be used before training camp, extended to rookie minicamp. They reportedly stopped using them when players' union rep Ben Watson clarified the rules.
But, according to a new report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Ravens actually knew about the rule. They allegedly broke the rule intentionally and, as a result, might face a steeper punishment from the league.
NFL believes Ravens were aware of non-contact practice rules but still moved forward, which will factor into any potential discipline.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 18, 2016
So, it turns out the Ravens don't need to "study the rulebook" after all. They just need to do a better job of hiding their violations. According to the Baltimore Sun, "All of the Ravens' practices, including the rookie minicamp, are taped." I'm pretty sure that's not -- at all -- how you're supposed to cheat.
And really, this entire situation is strange, because why in the world did the Ravens think this was a risk worth taking? I'd be willing to bet that padded, non-contact punt protection drills in May aren't the key to winning Super Bowls in February.