Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins frustrated by contract situation

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- After sitting out the Baltimore Ravens' mandatory minicamp this week, running back J.K. Dobbins expressed his frustration over his contract situation.

Dobbins, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, was at the team facility during minicamp but wasn't on the field for any of the three practices. He declined to comment on whether he was injured.

"The business side is very hard. It's very different," Dobbins told WJZ-TV on Thursday. "You saw with Lamar [Jackson] ... It's never just roses and daisies. It can be hard at times and it's business though."

Dobbins, 24, is scheduled to make $1.391 million this season, which is 24th among all running backs. Known for his explosiveness, he ranks second among all running backs with a 5.9-yard rushing average since 2020.

But Dobbins, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, has missed more games (27) than he's played (23) in his career. He was sidelined for all of the 2021 season after suffering a significant left knee injury in the preseason and then missed six straight games last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the same knee.

Dobbins declined to confirm a recent report that he's dealing with a soft-tissue injury. He told WJZ-TV that he's been studying the playbook and will be ready for the start of training camp in late July.

"So, the thing I can say is -- I would love to be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of my career," Dobbins said. "I would love to because I love the city, I love the people. It feels like family here. It feels like my second home. And I hope that happens."

After the final minicamp practice Thursday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he had expected Dobbins to practice this week.

"It just wasn't in the cards apparently," Harbaugh said. "[He will] just get ready for training camp."

Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he tried to get Dobbins on the practice field.

"As I told him [Wednesday], 'I'm excited. Give me something. Run a swing route. I don't care. Just jog down the field. Do something,'" Monken said. "We'd love for him to be out here. Obviously, he's not ready to go. But we're excited, and I know he'll be ready when he's out there. But we certainly are better with him out there."

This is not the first time that Dobbins has voiced his frustrations. Last season, Dobbins expressed dissatisfaction over being hurt in the 2021 preseason as well as his workload. In October, he pointed out how he had never had more than 15 carries in a game.

Then, in last season's 24-17 wild-card loss at the Cincinnati Bengals, Dobbins said he should have been given the ball -- and not quarterback Tyler Huntley -- on a crucial fourth-quarter play near the goal line. Huntley fumbled on a leap toward the end zone, and Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard returned the turnover 98 yards for the game-deciding touchdown.

"He should have never been in that situation," Dobbins said of Huntley in January 2023. "I don't get a single carry. I didn't get a single carry. He should never have been in that situation. I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again."