Team yet to begin talks with Ogden Modells see no problems in signing No. 1 pick

Ravens notebook

June 27, 1996|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The Ravens have yet to begin negotiations with the agent of No. 1 draft pick Jonathan Ogden, a move that has his agent a little miffed but not concerned.

Ogden, the offensive tackle from UCLA, is expected to start at left guard for the Ravens. He was the No. 4 selection overall in the draft.

"We haven't had any conversation at all," said Marvin Demoff, Ogden's Los Angeles-based agent. "I don't know why we haven't talked since he was drafted two months ago, but I guess the team has a reason and I suspect it's a legitimate one.

"We're on their timetable and I'm available any time. Negotiations can be strange. They can take one week or three weeks."

Ravens executive vice president David Modell will handle the negotiations and said he would be in contact with Demoff soon. Modell did not have a specific time frame, but said he expected no problems signing Ogden.

"What's the big deal?" said Modell. "We have a rookie money pool, a salary cap, and he was the fourth player taken overall. We have to work within those parameters. I think we can get a deal done within an hour once we meet face to face."

Owner Art Modell said he expects the team and Demoff to begin negotiating next week, but the process might be time-consuming since only two teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, have signed their No. 1 picks.

The Ravens also have been trying to free up money by restructuring veterans' contracts. The team is only $15,000 under the salary cap, a problem that has caused a delay in signing free-agent running back Gary Brown.

"Rookie signings are on a very slow schedule this year for some reason," said Art Modell. "Everybody seems to be waiting to see what the other players get. It will all break soon, possibly one to two weeks before camp. We'll have Jonathan Ogden signed before camp."

6* Rookies begin summer workouts July 16.

New titles, same jobs

David Modell and Ozzie Newsome have been given promotions, Art Modell said.

David Modell was vice president/assistant to the president but now is executive vice president. Newsome, formerly the director of football operations, has become vice president of player personnel.

Their jobs remain the same. David Modell will run the marketing department, and Newsome's chief tasks are the draft, trades, signing free agents and re-signing players.

Newsome is one of the highest-ranking African-American executives in the league.

"It's deserved recognition from the job they have done during the move from Cleveland to Baltimore," said Art Modell.

Testaverde late to camp?

Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde will miss part of training camp once veterans report July 18. Testaverde's wife, Mitzi, is expecting their second child shortly after camp opens.

"I've already told Coach [Ted] Marchibroda that I wanted to be with my wife during that time," said Testaverde. "The organization has always been good when it comes to family matters, so I don't expect any problems. . . . I will be there with my wife."

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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