After Grbac deal, team set to play another hand

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Next priority for champs: Sharper, offensive line

March 09, 2001|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

After officially signing quarterback Elvis Grbac yesterday, the Ravens have designated linebacker Jamie Sharper and the offensive line as their next priorities.

The future of Sharper could be decided soon.

Returning from a Wednesday visit with the Seattle Seahawks, Sharper is expected to discuss proposals with his Baltimore-based agent, Tony Agnone, including one from the Ravens. It is believed the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers are also in the running for the Ravens' third-leading tackler.

"It's starting to come together," Agnone said. "It depends on what happens in the next 24 hours. It could be done in the next couple of days."

As far as the offensive line, the Ravens had their second free agent in two days visiting, as San Diego Chargers guard/tackle Ben Coleman met with team officials yesterday. On Wednesday, Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Leon Searcy talked with the Ravens.

Coleman, 29, is an intriguing option because of his versatility. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound veteran has played every position on the offensive line except center during his eight-year career.

"He is, by all reports, a valuable addition," said Ralph Cindrich, Coleman's agent. "While he's played left and right tackle, many consider his strongest position to be inside [at guard]. He enjoyed his visit, and there's a mutual interest."

There is a possibility that Coleman will re-sign with the Chargers, who have only two remaining starters on the offensive line. Coleman has temporarily stopped making visits and returned to Jacksonville, Fla., home, where his wife is expected to deliver their second child today.

"Before committing, we'll see how this goes first," Cindrich said.

Setting sights on Searcy

The Ravens have begun preliminary negotiations with Searcy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

Searcy, 31, said his first choice is to play for the Ravens during his Wednesday trip here, and the Jaguars' free agent sees himself as a perfect fit.

"They have the best left tackle in the league already [in Jonathan Ogden]," Searcy said Wednesday. "They have one of the better backs in the league right now [in Jamal Lewis], and they have an offensive line that works well together but needs a right tackle. I'm available. We've just got to see what happens."

End zone

The Ravens have no scheduled visits from free agents today. ... Kim Herring will talk with the St. Louis Rams on Monday. The Ravens' free-agent strong safety was in Seattle last Tuesday. ... Cornell Brown, the Ravens' free-agent linebacker, will visit the Rams on March 19. He has a tentative meeting scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks and expects to visit the Minnesota Vikings in two weeks.

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