McAlister expected to volunteer today

Ravens' unsigned top pick due at voluntary workouts

Harris signs one-year deal

May 18, 1999|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Chris McAlister, the University of Arizona cornerback and the Ravens' No. 1 draft pick, is expected to join the team today in the second of a four-day voluntary passing camp.

McAlister was one of four starters who did not participate yesterday, including safety Rod Woodson and linebackers Jamie Sharper and Ray Lewis. Also yesterday, the Ravens announced they have re-signed veteran reserve safety Corey Harris to a one-year contract worth about $400,000. Harris doubles as a kickoff returner who led the AFC and was second in the league with a 27.6-yard return average.

Coach Brian Billick said the team's current negotiations with McAlister, which opened Thursday, had nothing to do with his not showing up for the camp, which is open to all players except linemen. McAlister was the No. 10 pick overall in the draft last month. Woodson is not expected to attend the camp at all, and Sharper was expected to arrive late last night.

"Chris is due in this afternoon. There is no problem, just a matter of getting him here physically," Billick said after yesterday morning's hourlong workout. "Rod had previous commitments on promotions, some through us and some on his own. Jamie is en route and should practice tomorrow. What we can't forget, and let's not lose sight of this, is that this camp is voluntary."

Lewis, the team's leading tackler last season, attended the workout yesterday, but did not participate. According to Billick, Lewis cut his foot Sunday night while taking out the garbage at his home. Lewis had his 24th birthday over the weekend.

Billick said yesterday's practice was typical of the first day.

"After the first minicamp, a lot of these players left and started feeling good about themselves, and they should have," said Billick. "We had a few mistakes, and it's time for some of them to get their heads back into the books or look at a little film."

Harris participated in practice yesterday and looked a little sluggish at times. He is expected to back up Woodson, Kim Herring and Stevon Moore. Harris, 29, has 47 career starts in 106 games during a seven-year career. He had 54 tackles, including a sack, last season and also contributed six tackles on special teams.

NOTES: The Ravens are close to finalizing plans for their new logo, a decision that could be reached within the next several days. On Aug. 6, the Ravens will have an open intrasquad scrimmage at 6 p.m. at Bair Stadium on the campus of Western Maryland College. The scrimmage is free to the public. Training camp will open at Western Maryland on July 29.

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