Ravens' free-agent wish list includes Greene Steelers linebacker's agent has spoken to Newsome

April 22, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Now that the draft is over, the Baltimore Ravens will concentrate on signing free agents, and one player on the team's list is Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro outside linebacker Kevin Greene.

Ozzie Newsome, the team's director of football operations, confirmed last night that he has had several conversations with Leigh Steinberg, Greene's agent. Steinberg did not return phone calls to his office last night.

"I wouldn't say our conversations have been hot, but both parties are interested," said Newsome. "We play against this guy two times a year, so we know a lot about him.

"He still has the pass rushing ability and can play over the tight end along with some other intangibles," said Newsome.

Baltimore has at least one factor working in its favor. The Ravens' defensive coordinator is Marvin Lewis, who coached Greene for several years with the Steelers.

But Greene's asking price may be too much for the Ravens, who are about $700,000 away from the $40.8 million salary cap. Greene reportedly made about $1.5 million last season.

"That's definitely something we have to consider, and/or work around," said Newsome.

Last season was Greene's 11th in the NFL, his third with the Steelers. He spent the first eight with the Los Angeles Rams.

Greene was sixth on the Steelers last year in tackles with 49, including 34 unassisted. But he led the team in sacks with nine for minus-62 yards.

Newsome said the Ravens still have an interest in tight end Johnny Mitchell, the Jets' designated "franchise player," who wants out of New York.

The Philadelphia Eagles also were interested in Mitchell, but they drafted Eastern Kentucky tight end Jason Dunn in the second round.

"It will be interesting to see what the Jets do with Mitchell now," said Newsome.

Pub Date: 4/22/96

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