Ravens, Hearst keep working to cut deal Former Cardinals back seeks $1 million contract

Ravens Notebook

August 21, 1996|By Mike Preston and Kevin Langbaum | Mike Preston and Kevin Langbaum,SUN STAFF

The Ravens continued preliminary talks yesterday with former Arizona Cardinals running back Garrison Hearst. His agent, Pat Dye, would like to work out an agreement by Friday.

Hearst, a fourth-year player, was placed on waivers by the Cardinals yesterday. He would like to sign a one-year contract, possibly with the Ravens, Tampa Bay or the Cardinals, and a team source said he wants a $1 million contract. Hearst was expected to make $2.1 million this season.

"He would have been a free agent after this year, so he wants a similar situation," said Dye. "Garrison doesn't feel he has played his best year yet, so he wants to go through this season and see what pans out.

"Our talks at this point have been preliminary in nature. I guess we're trying to see how flexible the two parties are. But time is of the essence. We would like to have a deal done by Friday so he gets at least a week to learn the offense."

Ravens vice president Ozzie Newsome said he spoke with Dye twice yesterday, but agreed the talks were general in nature.

Hearst rushed for 1,070 yards last season, but also fumbled 12 times, the most of any non-quarterback in the league.

Newsome said if the Ravens sign Hearst, they probably would have to cut a veteran player. Newsome estimated the team to be $524,000 under the salary cap.

Roster down to 58

The Ravens reduced their roster to 58 players yesterday by placing three on injured reserve and announcing the suspension of defensive tackle Larry Webster for one year for violation of the NFL's Turner substance abuse policy.

Jon Stark, a quarterback drafted in the seventh round this year out of Trinity International, was placed on the physically unable to perform list. Stark had surgery on his right shoulder after spring minicamp.

He will remain on the list for the first six weeks, then will be given a three-week grace period to practice. The team must decide after that whether to put him on the roster or on injured reserve.

Rookie free agents Corey Sears and Curtis Brown were placed on injured reserve and will miss the season. Sears, a defensive lineman, had surgery on his knee. Brown, a wide receiver, is sidelined with a foot injury.

Yesterday at 4 p.m. was the deadline to trim rosters to 60 players. The team cut 18 players Monday to get to 62. The roster must be trimmed to 53 by Sunday.

Turner returns

Floyd Turner participated in his first full practice yesterday, marking the first time since training camp began that the top four wide receivers practiced together.

Turner, who signed with the Ravens as a free agent earlier this summer, was held up by a contract technicality, then sidelined with a knee injury. He will probably see his first game action Friday in Buffalo.

"It's very important to me to get this game in and to get the quarterback's confidence in throwing the ball to me," said Turner, who has not yet played with quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

Michael Jackson and Calvin Williams also missed time in training camp with knee injuries and Derrick Alexander left the team for a week to be with his dying brother in Detroit.

All should play Friday.

"It makes the receiving corps stronger," Turner said. "It really makes it tough on a defense." When the Ravens play in Buffalo on Friday, it will be a homecoming of sorts for coach Ted Marchibroda and fullback Carwell Gardner.

Marchibroda was a Bills assistant coach from 1987-1991, serving the last three of those years as offensive coordinator. Gardner spent the last six seasons in Buffalo, playing on four Super Bowl teams.

"I'm kind of excited," Gardner said. "It's going to be good to see everybody again."

Marchibroda said he hasn't had time to think about returning to Buffalo. "There's so much going on here and there's so much involved with your own ballclub that you really don't think of it until you're there," he said.

Great expectations

Despite Saturday's 17-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers, owner Art Modell is satisfied with the way his team has looked in the preseason.

"I don't look at wins or losses in the preseason," Modell said. "I like what I see on the field. I like the players we have. They're playing with intensity and enthusiasm and you can't ask for more than that. We're going to make a lot of noise."

Next for Ravens

Opponent: Buffalo Bills

Site: Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.

When: 7: 30 p.m. Friday

TV/Radio: Ch. 54/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)

Pub Date: 8/20/96

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