Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh announced that the signing of new players Danny Woodhead and Tony Jefferson was official during a news conference Friday. (Ulysses Munoz / Baltimore Sun)
Ravens safety Tony Jefferson said he was among the reported 30-plus current and former NFL players who participated in a made-for-TV arm-wrestling tournament in a Las Vegas casino this month.
Because NFL personnel are prohibited, under the league manual, from making promotional appearances at gambling-related establishments, Jefferson could face a fine.
During an appearance on the "Purple Reign Show" podcast this week, Jefferson, who signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Ravens in March, said he attended the Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship, held April 5-9 at a nightclub inside the MGM Grand Casino.
"Yeah, I was there," Jefferson said. "It was a charitable event. I don't know all that went on with all that and what's going on with the commissioner [Roger Goodell] or whatever, but I did it. Had a great time surrounding myself with great guys around the NFL. Got to ... hang with them. We weren't doing anything that is illegal or whatever, so I felt like it was a good cause."
When reports emerged last week that NFL players could be fined for their participation, Jefferson didn't think much of the idea.
A portion of the prize purses for both individual and team competitions will be donated to charities chosen by the players, a group that reportedly included Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and center Maurkice Pouncey, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman and Raiders punter Marquette King, among others.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement last week that the league "just became aware of the event and will look into it further. This is a longstanding policy." Alan Brickman, co-owner of the company that operated the contest, told USA Today that the league had been made aware of the tournament.
The event is set to premiere on CBS, with preliminaries May 27-28 and the finals June 3.