Defender Washington agrees to 3-year deal

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

He's aided special teams, line

3 restructure contracts

March 24, 2000|By Ken Murray and Mike Preston | Ken Murray and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The Ravens reached contract terms with reserve defensive end Keith Washington yesterday on a three-year deal for an unspecified amount.

Washington, 27 and a five-year NFL veteran, joined the team in 1997 as a free agent, having played previously with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

"Keith's comfortable with [defensive coordinator] Marvin Lewis," said his agent, Steve Weinberg. "He feels comfortable there and has an opportunity as a veteran to help the club. It's an up-and-coming club."

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, said Washington "improves depth on the defensive line and does a very good job on special teams."

Washington's deal leaves the Ravens with seven unrestricted free agents still unsigned of the total of 19 at the start of the free agency period. The Ravens have re-signed seven of those free agents so far, and lost five.

Salary cap maneuvers

The Ravens have restructured the contracts of defensive end Michael McCrary, safety Rod Woodson and offensive tackle Harry Swayne since the end of last season to reduce their salary cap hit in 2000.

Woodson restructured his contract for the second straight year after signing originally in 1998. He'll receive a $2 million signing bonus and $800,000 base salary this season.

McCrary signed a five-year, $38 million extension, with a signing bonus of $12.25 million, last September, and restructured that deal. Swayne signed a four-year, $13.2 million deal, with a $5 million signing bonus, on Feb. 26, 1999.

Newsome declined to give any terms, but said there was no extra money or years added to any of the contracts.

"We're restructuring deals in line with other deals in the NFL to gain some additional cap room so we can go out and procure additional talent," said Pat Moriarty, the team's "capologist."

Preseason lineup announced

The Ravens announced their preseason schedule yesterday, and it has a decidedly familiar look. For the fifth straight year, they'll play the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants, and for the third straight year, they'll play the New York Jets.

They open the preseason schedule with back-to-back, Saturday home games against the Eagles (Aug. 5) and Jets (Aug. 12). Both are 8 p.m. kickoffs. On Friday, Aug. 18, they'll play the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., and on Friday, Aug. 25, they'll face the Giants at Giants Stadium at 8 p.m. The starting time of the Carolina game will be announced later.

"It's a solid preseason schedule for a number of reasons," coach Brian Billick said in a team release. "We'll see a variety of offensive and defensive schemes to prepare us for the regular season. The proximity of the road games makes it an easy travel schedule. And our scrimmage on July 28 at Washington against the Redskins gives us five consecutive weekends to evaluate our players."

The Ravens have an eight-game preseason winning streak. They went undefeated each of the past two preseasons.

Single-game preseason tickets go on sale in mid-July, and may be purchased by calling 410-261-RAVE.

Ravens preseason

Date Opponent Time

8/5 Philadelphia 8 p.m.

8/12 N.Y. Jets 8 p.m.

8/18 at Carolina TBA

8/25 at N.Y. Giants 8 p.m.

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