Ravens make offer to Goeas to fill gaps in offensive line Backup linebacker Sutter signs deal with Bengals

March 12, 1997|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

PALM DESERT, Calif. -- The Ravens moved a step closer to signing their first unrestricted free agent yesterday when they made an offer to guard Leo Goeas of the St. Louis Rams.

The Ravens also lost their second free agent -- linebacker Ed Sutter -- when he signed a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. No terms were announced.

Sutter, who played mainly on special teams, didn't have a big role in the team's plans.

"He's a fine contact football player, a hard-nosed guy, but with the quarterbacks in our division, we need speed [at linebacker]," owner Art Modell said.

Goeas started 13 games with St. Louis last season, but the Rams want to replace him and upgrade the position.

If Goeas is signed, he'll start at right guard and Jeff Blackshear will start at left guard. The Ravens have to beef up their offensive line after losing center Steve Everitt, tackle Tony Jones and lineman Herman Arvie.

Goeas' agent, Marty Bartelstein, said the deal could be finalized today. Goeas made the veteran minimum of $275,000 last year plus a $75,000 signing bonus.

Meanwhile, the Ravens made no progress in their attempt to get a second- and fourth-round pick from Seattle in exchange for moving down from the fourth to 11th spot in the first round of the draft.

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, said he's still optimistic a deal can be worked out, although Seattle is balking at giving up the second-round choice. Modell said the Ravens can afford to wait if the deal isn't made this week.

"Those deals are usually made the morning of the draft when somebody gets hungry for a player. It usually happens during the draft more often than not. If it doesn't happen soon, we'll wait until the draft," Modell said.

Pub Date: 3/12/97

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