WR Lewis joins camp, agrees to 2-year deal Ex-Terp ends holdout

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

2 draftees left unsigned

July 18, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Mike Preston contributed to this article.

The Ravens agreed to terms with University of Maryland wide receiver Jermaine Lewis yesterday on a two-year contract, leaving just two of the team's seven draft picks unsigned.

Late yesterday afternoon, Lewis was leaving his Prince George's County home to drive to Western Maryland College and end his two-day holdout. He will participate in his first training camp workout this morning. Veterans must report by 5 p.m. today, then will join rookies for the team's first full-squad practices tomorrow.

Under terms of the deal, Lewis, a fifth-round pick whom the Ravens project as a special-teams weapon, will collect a $56,000 signing bonus in addition to the NFL minimum salary this year ($131,000) and next year ($164,000). The deal also includes kick- and punt-return incentives that could earn Lewis another $20,000 each year.

"It feels good to get this over with. It has been a long process," Lewis said. "I've been itching to get into camp, get started and show them what I can do."

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' director of football operations, said: "We had a great conversation around lunchtime with Jermaine, his agent and his parents. They were worried about Jermaine, which is good. Having his parents involved really made this happen."

Ray Anderson, Lewis' agent, said the key to the deal was that the Ravens backed off of a three-year proposal that included a signing bonus of $30,000, which Anderson said was too low for a player drafted in Lewis' slot (153rd overall).

"Jermaine is realistic. He understands that some clubs do things differently than other clubs," Anderson said. "He's not bitter at all."

Next up, Jenkins

The Ravens now will focus on getting second-round pick DeRon Jenkins, the cornerback out of Tennessee, into camp. Newsome fielded a counterproposal late yesterday from Eugene Parker, Jenkins' agent.

The Ravens are pushing for a three-year deal. Newsome said he hopes Jenkins is in camp by tomorrow, but he declined to speculate on the timetable of his arrival.

"If he isn't here by Friday, he's only hurting himself," team owner Art Modell said. "We're talking pennies in the total picture."

Said Jenkins: "It's not up to me. It's up to the team and my agent to reach an agreement. The Ravens had to get those in front of me [Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis] signed, so I assume they didn't think it would take this long. I'm anxious to get into camp. When they agree, I'll be there as soon as possible."

The other remaining unsigned draft pick, seventh-round quarterback Jon Stark, is rehabilitating his right shoulder. Stark had arthroscopic surgery two months ago to repair a damaged (( rotator cuff -- an injury the Ravens were unaware of on draft day. The Ravens paid for his surgery. Stark probably will not play this season, which means the battle for the No. 3 quarterback job is between free agents Scott Otis and Mike Groh.

Miscellaneous

Wide receiver Floyd Turner is expected to report to camp today with the other veterans. Turner signed with the Ravens on July 10, but the team failed to turn in the contract to the league by July 15, which reverts Turner's rights back to his previous team, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts want Turner back, but his agent says he will report to Baltimore. . . . Wide receiver James Roe and linebacker Dexter Daniels, both sixth-round draft picks, spent their first full day on the practice field in Westminster, after signing two-year contracts on Tuesday. Roe and Jenkins each signed for rookie minimum salaries and $34,000 signing bonuses. . . . Free-agent linebacker Mike Croel signed a one-year contract for $275,000. His signing bonus was $25,000, but his contract has incentives worth nearly $500,000.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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