Titans' Stallings agrees to 1-year deal

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Free-agent linebacker is special teams standout

March 23, 2000|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

The Ravens have reached contract terms with free agent Dennis Stallings, a special teams standout and reserve middle linebacker with the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans had tendered the three-year veteran a $472,000, one-year contract in the off-season, then withdrew the offer 10 days ago, effectively making him a free agent.

Stallings agreed to a one-year contract for an NFL-minimum $385,000 with the Ravens.

"The Ravens showed immediate interest when Tennessee withdrew the tender," said Stallings' agent, Richard Katz. "And they showed the most interest of anybody."

Stallings will be reunited with Ravens special teams coach Russ Purnell, who held the same position with the Oilers/Titans from 1995 through 1998.

"Basically, what attracted me was the defense," said Stallings, who'll turn 26 in May. "They've got a great defense. I just wanted the opportunity to prove I can play."

Stallings played in 28 games in 1997 and '98, making 31 special teams tackles. He missed the Titans' Super Bowl run in 1999 when he spent the entire year on injured reserve with a calf injury.

He was a sixth-round draft pick in 1997 out of Illinois, where he played middle linebacker on a defense with Simeon Rice (Arizona Cardinals) and Kevin Hardy (Jacksonville Jaguars). Stallings was first-team All-Big Ten Conference his senior year.

College visits on tap

In preparation for the draft, the Ravens will bring in four players over the next two days for physicals and interviews: offensive tackles Chris McIntosh of Wisconsin and Marvin Smith of Arizona State, running back Jamal Lewis of Tennessee and wide receiver Travis Taylor of Florida.

Spring festival

More than a dozen Ravens players, including cornerback Chris McAlister, will sign autographs at the Spring Football Festival, sponsored by Miller Lite, on April 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at PSINet Stadium.

Fans can participate in a question-and-answer forum, and in on-field activities such as field goal kicking, long toss and punt-catching contests. Other activities include a tour of the stadium and live entertainment by the Marching Ravens, cheerleaders and mascots Edgar, Allan and Poe.

Admission prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Prices for PSL holders are $7 for general seat holders and $5 for club seat holders. Tickets may be purchased through TicketMaster (410-481-SEAT), on the Internet at www.baltimoreravens.com, or at Gate A on April 15.

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