The Ravens have confirmed that they have restructured the contract of All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis, which freed enough salary-cap room to sign their two first-round draft picks.
Although Lewis will still receive the $4.75 million he was scheduled to make, the new deal will give him $4 million up front in a signing bonus and $750,000 in base salary.
That maneuver, which was completed before training camp, reduced Lewis' cap impact from $6.31 million to $3.315 million for the 2000 season.
Lewis joined defensive end Michael McCrary, right tackle Harry Swayne, safety Rod Woodson and receiver Jermaine Lewis as Ravens who have had their contracts restructured for this season.
Since signing bonuses are prorated over the length of the contract, Lewis' cap figure increases the next three years from $6.05 million to $7.05 million. The Ravens, however, may choose to rework the contract again next season.
As the Ravens opened the preseason last night, holdout defensive tackle Tony Siragusa has his mind on opening a restaurant.
Siragusa wants a raise to the $1.5$million that he is scheduled to make in the final year of his contract and passed on a $2 million offer by the team, which has not contacted Siragusa's agent since three days before training camp.
The 11-year veteran has been busy in life outside of football, planning to open a restaurant in northern New Jersey, only a few miles from Giants Stadium, in about three weeks as well as participating in a fishing trip last week.
"I don't expect him to change his stance," defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said. "I know where our position is. I know where his position is. I just think it's an impasse."
Backup quarterback Trent Dilfer thought coach Brian Billick made a good observation when he said the seven-year veteran has a tendency to go at a faster pace than his second-team players.
"I sometimes get ahead of myself thinking, and feel everyone is on the same page with me," said Dilfer, who started 76 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1994 to 1999.
"There are certain things you can do on the chalkboard, but come game time or practice time, you have to do the easiest thing available to you.
"Although I have the ability to do hard things, I have to get back to doing easy things to make it easy on the people around me. That's what I've been trying to do the past couple of days."
Dilfer entered late in the first quarter last night and completed nine of 13 passes for 47 yards. He also had a 21-yard run.
Most starters may consider the first preseason game a formality, but safety Rod Woodson has a different perspective.
"The first contact, that's when it all starts," Woodson said. "It lets you know that the regular season is not far off."
Unhappy at drops
Coach Andy Reid of the Eagles criticized his wide receivers for dropping too many passes against the Ravens.
"It wasn't necessarily what the Ravens did. It was what we did to ourselves," he said.
The pattern started early when Charles Johnson dropped a third-down pass on the Eagles' first possession, forcing Philadelphia to punt from its 3 and setting up the Ravens' first touchdown.
Reid also said the special teams gave up too much yardage, notably on Corey Harris' 61-yard return after the Eagles were called offsides on their opening kickoff.
Simon needs time
Corey Simon, the Eagles' first-round draft pick and sixth selection overall, made his debut and didn't receive credit for any tackles, although Reid gave him credit for two good pass rushes.
Simon said he was happy with his play, but conceded he has a lot to learn as he adjusts to the NFL.
Simon, who played against Ravens guard Edwin Mulitalo most of the time, tried to avoid being awed at playing in the NFL.
He said at one point: "I looked over and saw Jonathan Ogden and I thought, I'm out here with Jonathan Ogden."
Baltimore native Sean Landeta punted twice for a 46-yard average and he's impressing Reid at age 38. Landeta was named first-team punter on the all-decade team in the 1980s and second team in the 1990s and shows no signs of slowM-W ing down.
"I'm personally been around him a couple of years and I feel this is the best he's kicked," Reid said.
Defensive tackle Sam Adams did not dress because of a neck injury. Martin Chase started in his place. ... The players are off today and will resume training camp tomorrow at 9:30a.m. ... After last night, the Ravens have a nine-game winning streak in the preseason. ... The Ravens will play host to the New York Jets on Saturday at PSINet Stadium. Tickets are still available.
Sun staff writer Ken Murray contributed to this article.