Lewis Denies Using Antler Spray, Flacco Looking for Payday, Oher Tired of The Blind SideBy Debbie B.
For Tuesday’s Baltimore Ravens Media Day, many thought it would lead with the infamous murder question for linebacker Ray Lewis (it came later) but instead he had a new one: did he use a banned substance last fall to help heal his tricep?
With a contract extension lingering for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the player is looking for a hefty payday. Many are still unconvinced he’s an elite quarterback and won’t be paid as one. Will Flacco get what he wants?
And in another one last sound bite, Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher is tired of “The Blind Side” and just wants to play football.
Lewis Denies Using Banned Substance
On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated released a story online that reported Lewis had contacted the owner of S.W.A.T.S. (Sports with Alternatives to Steroids) Mitch Ross and discussed deer antler spray. He wanted to use the product on his torn triceps in October.
Why this spray? It contained the NFL-prohibited IGF-1, which has been compared to human growth hormone (HGH ), and would assist Lewis in the healing process.
Lewis had been instructed to spray the extract under his tongue every two hours; he also reportedly said to Ross, “just pile me up and just send me everything you got, because I got to get back on this this week.”
While the extract contains a banned substance, Lewis’s pending retirement won’t enable the league to do anything. He has never tested positive for anything and on Tuesday, he brushed the report off with “I’ve been in this business 17 years and nobody has ever got up with me every morning and trained with me. Every test I’ve ever took in the NFL, there’s never been a question if I’ve ever even thought about using anything, so to even entertain stupidity like that … tell (them) to go try to get (their) story off somebody else.”
The Ravens stand behind Lewis but the rumors are likely to continue.
Will Lewis play lights out in his last game? He’s 6 to 1 to win the MVP award.
Will Flacco Get His Big Payday?
On Monday, ESPN reported that Flacco is looking for a big payday around the $100 million range with $40 million in guaranteed money. Sound familiar? This is the deal that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees received during the last offseason.
While Flacco has improved this season, I think we’d all agree he’s no Brees but he lifted his reputation in the playoffs and now according to ESPN Stats & Info, “Joe Flacco’s 8 playoff wins are tied for the third most by any QB without a Super Bowl win (Jim Kelly, Donovan McNabb, 9).”
A Super Bowl MVP nod could help Flacco and he’s at 5 to 2 to grab it.
On Tuesday, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said Flacco will stay with the team next season but the next hurdle is how long it will take to hammer out a long-term deal.
CBS Sports has reported that Flacco will get tagged by the team at $14.6 million to buy time until July for the long-term contract deadline.
With the $20 million in the conversation–supposedly Flacco’s “magic number”–the closer the two sides can agree, the less time it will take for negotiations.
Oher Just Wants to Play Football
After being drafted by the Ravens in 2009 from Ole Miss, Oher was immediately in the spotlight thanks to his portrayal in the popular movie, The Blind Side.”
Appearing in his first Super Bowl, the question had been posed on Tuesday about the film, which he responded, “I’m tired of the movie. I’m here to play football.” He added, “Football is what got me here and the movie, it wasn’t me. I always knew how to play football growing up. It was different personalities, stuff like that. Playing football is what got me to this point.”