That's how it is this time of year, even though the workouts are strictly voluntary and the Ravens won't have their first mandatory veteran minicamp until June.
So when running back
That's understandable because Rice's contract situation figures to loom over the Ravens until July 16, the deadline to sign "franchise" players, like Rice, to long-term deals. However, in reality, it would probably be more newsworthy if Rice was there.
Players dealing with unsettled contract situations traditionally don't attend the start of voluntary offseason workouts, and Rice certainly won't be alone in his absence. Cornerback
Rice, who has said on several occasions that he wants and deserves a long-term deal rather than playing the season under the $7.7 million franchise tag, is certainly in no rush to sign his tag.
While the Ravens have had some talks with Rice's agent, Todd France, the two sides aren't anywhere close to a deal and that's not expected to change until we get much closer to the July 16 deadline. And there is obviously a common belief that a player, in the midst of contract negotiations, loses significant leverage and puts himself at risk by engaging in workouts or football activity at their team's complex.
Rice has attended offseason workouts in the past, but not under the backdrop of potentially difficult contract negotiations between him and the Ravens. So the more appropriate question next week probably should be not if the running back stays away, but for how long.
And Rice clearly won't be the only Ravens veteran not in Owings Mills next week. Some players like to stay where they are in the offseason and work out with their personal trainers.