Ravens, Sharper exchange proposals

Newsome: No deadline on negotiations

offer on Richardson matched

Pro Football

March 30, 2001|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

The Ravens are moving closer to a contract agreement with unrestricted free agent Jamie Sharper after a week of negotiations.

Tony Agnone, Sharper's agent, and Pat Moriarty, the Ravens' chief negotiator, exchanged proposals yesterday on a new deal for the veteran outside linebacker.

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, would say only that conversations have been "ongoing since Monday," and insisted there was no deadline to finish negotiations.

Last weekend, team owner Art Modell indicated he expected a resolution to the Sharper situation this week.

Agnone said he entertained another offer for Sharper this week from the Philadelphia Eagles, but rejected it because it was for only one year. Describing it as a solid offer, Agnone said the Eagles "didn't try to lowball us."

Sharper visited the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers this month, but his preference is to remain with the Super Bowl champions.

Meanwhile, the Ravens formally matched Carolina's offer sheet for punter Kyle Richardson, and completed paperwork on new contracts for defensive tackle Lional Dalton and wide receiver Germany Thompson.

Richardson, a restricted free agent, signed a one-year deal worth $850,000 with the Panthers, but Newsome acknowledged that the Ravens are open to negotiating a multi-year deal for the 27-year-old punter.

"We'd have to take a look at that, considering next year I would be unrestricted," Richardson said. "That's attractive. ... I'm very comfortable with Baltimore; I enjoy Baltimore; my girlfriend is from Baltimore. That's where my heart would like to be. But this is a business.

"I'm definitely happy I'll be back in Baltimore. The whole thing always has been that I wanted to be there, hoping for a long-term deal. I was forced into going out and getting a restricted-offer deal and putting my cards out there."

Dalton, another restricted free agent, signed his tender for $1.115 million, and Thompson signed an exclusive rights deal for $209,000.

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