Ja. Lewis talks make progress


Top pick's agent meets with Moriarty in Florida

July 21, 2000|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

The Ravens nudged stalemated negotiations over first-round draft pick Jamal Lewis into an area of compromise last night when the team's chief negotiator, Pat Moriarty, met agent Mitch Frankel in a lengthy bargaining session in Boca Raton, Fla.

"I think we had a productive meeting tonight," Frankel said late last night. "We made some progress and we'll meet [today]. I don't think we're there. But I think they came back a lot more flexible."

Lewis, a versatile running back from Tennessee, was the fifth pick in last April's draft. Three of the four picks ahead of him are signed, and the fourth, LaVar Arrington of the Washington Redskins, is close to signing.

Lewis is expected to be an integral part of coach Brian Billick's remade offense this season as both an elusive runner and a potential pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Moriarty took a flight to Florida yesterday to launch what the team hopes is the final round of negotiations for Lewis.

"I think the meeting tonight was both sides trying to make compromises to get to a contract both sides find equitable," Frankel said.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are awaiting a response from Travis Taylor's agent on a proposal they submitted Monday to the 10th pick in the draft.

Taylor was the third receiver taken in the draft, and the first two have signed. Peter Warrick, the fourth pick, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in June, and Plaxico Burress, the eighth pick, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday.

Burress reportedly got a five-year deal worth $8.67 million. He and linebacker Brian Urlacher, the ninth pick, both received $5.5 million signing bonuses, which means Taylor's signing bonus likely will be around $5.4 million, depending on the length of contract.

To create salary cap room to get their top two picks signed, the Ravens have been working to restructure the contract of linebacker Ray Lewis. In the meantime, they've informed Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden that they'll resume negotiations on his contract extension once the rookies are signed.

Et cetera

One player who won't be in Westminster on Sunday is former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Brown. After talking with Brown's agent, vice president for player personnel Ozzie Newsome said Brown would not be in for a physical until next week, if at all, for personal reasons.

Still filling out their training camp roster, the Ravens signed linebacker Anthony Davis, a seven-year veteran who played last season with Green Bay.

Davis, 31, was used sparingly by the Packers. He played in 14 games with one start and had 14 tackles. In four previous seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, he averaged 60 tackles a season.

Joel Kitay, manager of broadcasting, Internet and video production for the Ravens, has won his second regional Emmy Award in the general category of "Audio: electronic News Gathering." Kitay and former Ravens employee Adam Oberfeld shared the honor for the capture and use of sound in the weekly show, "Report from the Ravenszone," for the 1999 season.

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