Ravens owner’s comments about Ngata could violate tampering rules

The Baltimore Ravens traded Haloti Ngata, but they’re apparently not totally letting go.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti suggested during a conference call with season-ticket holders that Ngata could be back in Baltimore a year from now, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Bisciotti’s comments about Ngata, who was acquired by the Detroit Lions three weeks ago in exchange for draft picks, have led to questions concerning whether the Ravens’ owner violated the NFL’s tampering rules.

If so, the Ravens could face a penalty from the league, perhaps even in the form of a lost draft pick.

"I respect Haloti," Bisciotti reportedly told fans. "I had a wonderful conversation with him after he was traded.

"We are going to miss him, but I haven’t heard anything about him getting an extension from Detroit. As far as I know, he could be a free agent a year from now, and we may be watching the second coming of Haloti Ngata.

"I never give up hope that we couldn’t get him back… Players like that are always welcome back. There were no hard feelings on either side. Haloti is a wonderful guy. I wish him the best, and maybe we’ll see him again."

The Lions released a statement in which they totally downplayed the incident.
The statement read: "The Ravens have reached out to us concerning the comments made yesterday by Steve Bisciotti regarding Haloti Ngata. We appreciate both the Ravens’ professionalism and the context in which Mr. Bisciotti’s statements were made. We consider the matter to be a non-issue."

Ngata, 31, is in the final year of his contract. The Ravens traded him because of salary-cap issues.

Both Ngata and the Lions have indicated an extension is possible, but nothing appears to be imminent at this point.