When Bryant McKinnie’s phone rang Monday afternoon and he recognized the number of Ravens coach John Harbaugh, he was fully prepared to say his goodbyes.
“At that point, I thought I was already gone,” said McKinnie who agreed to restructure his contract Monday, reducing his base salary from $3.2 million to $2.2 million. “I was surprised to get a phone call. I thought it was a farewell phone call.”
Earlier in the day, McKinnie, who started all 18 games at left tackle for the Ravens last year, said on his Twitter page that “Decision is made! I’m gone!” However, after a day full of negotiations that McKinnie figured would result in his release and personal phone calls from Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome, the two sides were able to reach a deal.
“There was a lot of change in emotions, swinging back and forth because you thought you were gone and then they’re back. I’m here now so I can focus on the Bengals,” said McKinnie. “I was a little bit confused but we managed to get through it and I’m still here. It was confusing, but we were able to work it out. That’s the only thing that matters really.”
McKinnie, 32, said that he wasn’t sure why the Ravens approached him about a contract extension in the days leading up to Monday’s regular season opener against the Bengals. However, he said that both sides are “past that” and he has no hard feelings.
“I don’t have no problem,” McKinnie said. “If anything in business, you can’t get too many emotions tied up in it when you know you have to deal with business at the same time. It was business on their end, it was business on our end and we took care of it.”
McKinnie figures to start at left tackle Monday, quite a turn of events when you consider that he woke up Tuesday morning, feeling that his days with the Ravens were numbered.
“I have a better focus today than I did yesterday because I know where I’m going to be at it,” McKinnie said. “It’s a lot easier to focus.”