The Baltimore Ravens already knew they’d be without second-round pass rusher David Ojabo for some time, as he’s recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered this winter.
But now they’re dealing with a different type of absence from their rookie.
Ojabo is unsigned and holding out for the start of Ravens training camp, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday on Good Morning Football. The Michigan product remains the lone pick of the 2022 NFL Draft yet to sign their rookie contract.
“From my understanding, the argument is about the third-year guarantee,” Rapoport said. “If you look at the distribution of where players are and how much is guaranteed in the third year, the Houston Texans fully guaranteed the third year of their second-round pick (defensive back Jalen Pitre), which has caused everyone to go into flux a bit.”
The fully guaranteed third year for Pitre was considered an unusual measure, something that has thrown a wrench into what in recent years has been a pretty smooth set of negotiations for rookie contracts.
“It’s basically an argument of, how close to 50 percent do the sides get as far as the third-year guarantee? It’s not much; it’s a small argument,” Rapoport said. “The two sides are trying to split the difference. They have just not yet come to an agreement.”
Normally, rookie holdouts — especially these days — cause some panic among coaches and fans. With Ojabo still recovering from a major injury, this holdout has a different feel. After all, he can’t practice, so the level of concern isn’t as high as it would be with a healthy player.
“(The injury is) not totally consequential,” Rapoport added. “They’re arguing over the guarantee, and that’s kind of what all of this is about.”
But the Ravens can’t make any transactional moves with Ojabo until he’s signed. Once he does, Ojabo likely will be placed on the team’s non-football injury list because the Achilles tear he suffered occurred prior to his entering the league, at Michigan’s pro day.
The Nigerian-born Ojabo was the 45th overall pick this spring. He had a breakout season for the playoff-bound Wolverines in 2021, collecting 11 sacks and five forced fumbles after barely seeing the field the season prior.