Sharper's agent put on hold

Still waiting on Ravens, Agnone says he'll start `working on other deals'

Pro Football

March 18, 2001|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

While the Ravens want to take a short break from free agency, Tony Agnone just wants a call back.

Agnone, who represents linebacker Jamie Sharper, has not heard from the Ravens since Tuesday despite repeated messages left with the team.

The silent treatment has sort of baffled Agnone since he said both sides were close to an agreement. It was exactly a week ago when Agnone met with Pat Moriarty, the Ravens' chief negotiator, for 3 1/2 hours in Agnone's office.

Two days later, Agnone said he sent the Ravens' proposal back to the team with a "slight" change. He hasn't been able to reach the club since.

"I'm waiting on them," Agnone said.

According to Agnone, the five-year deal was less than the contracts signed recently by Dwayne Rudd and John Mobley, two other free-agent outside linebackers. Rudd received a five-year, $23 million contract that included a $5.7 million signing bonus, and Mobley signed a six-year deal worth $28 million, with a $7.5 million signing bonus.

But, after the Ravens added quarterback Elvis Grbac and right tackle Leon Searcy, coach Brian Billick indicated last week that the team is going to take a break from the free-agent market for now.

"It has nothing to do with our desire to sign Jamie or get that done," Billick said Wednesday. "It's a matter [where] we need to pause, however briefly, to make sure where we're at."

Sharper, 26, elevated his game last season to become a playmaker.

In the regular season, his five forced fumbles tied Sam Adams for the team lead, and he finished third on the team with 102 tackles. He had 18 tackles, two sacks and one interception in the playoffs.

Since he became a free agent, Sharper never wavered from naming the Ravens as his first choice. His only visits were to the Seattle Seahawks and the Miami Dolphins.

"I guess we have to start working on other deals because we have to," Agnone said.

The Ravens, however, insist they want Sharper to return.

"We're still very interested in Jamie," team president David Modell said. "But it's no slam dunk."

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