Despite being a tumultuous day for Bryant McKinnie, the Ravens left tackle was light-hearted when talking about almost leaving the team Tuesday.
In an 11-minute interview with WNST-AM (1570) Baltimore, McKinnie explained exactly what happened with coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, who asked the 13-year vet to take a significant paycut or he'd be released by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The Ravens open Monday vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. Although McKinnie is listed as the starting left tackle on the depth chart, he practiced a lot with the second team and didn't start the first two preseason games. McKinnie reported to training camp five days late and had issues with conditioning which has been an ongoing saga.
"It's been a long day and a half I guess. John and Ozzie called me into the office (Monday) and they were just talking about restructing the deal," McKinnie told the station. "Different kind of stuff that caught me off guard because I had no clue that any of this was coming up, especially a week before the game. It's not what I want to be thinking about."
When asked why the matter came up this late in the process, McKinnie said: "They were giving me different reasons and stuff like that. I said I had to talk to my agent. Once my agent and I spoke, we didn't agree to some of the terms. I agreed to come down but I didn't agree to do everything that they presented. That's when they stopped negotiating and basically were like, 'We need to know by 4 o'colck (Tuesday) or we'll have to let you go."
That's when McKinnie thought he was no longer a Raven.
"We talked again in the morning. I got a phone call from my agent. ... Then coach Harbs called and said I feel like we should be able to try and work this out. ...Then Ozzie started calling and we started negotiating again, after I had already assumed it was over, and we finally came to an agreement," he said.
McKinnie said the Ravens wanted him to take more than a 50 pay cut, which refused. He was scheduled to make 3.2 million this season.
After feeling like the Ravens were trying to force his hand, McKinnie said he's now OK with the agreement.
"I felt like, 'They're trying to take advantage of the situation.' We were able to work things out where everybody felt comfortable," he said. "That's what made me feel better."