K. Washington shopping around

Agent says former Raven pondering three offers: Denver, K.C., old team

Pro Football

April 05, 2001|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Now that Jamie Sharper has escaped free-agent purgatory, Keith Washington could be next for the Ravens. There's no end in sight for Cornell Brown, though.

One day after Sharper signed a five-year, $22 million contract with the Ravens, Washington, a six-year veteran defensive end, was in Denver visiting the Broncos.

According to his agent, Steve Weinberg, Washington has offers from three teams - the Broncos, Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs - and might have an agreement shortly.

"We're hoping all the teams [involved] get on board, give their best offer and we get this done," Weinberg said yesterday.

Washington was cut last month by the Ravens to help make salary cap room for newly signed offensive tackle Leon Searcy. On Monday, they made a multi-year offer to re-sign him.

Denver has reshaped its defensive line since finishing 31st in the NFL against the pass and 29th in yards allowed per rush attempt, signing tackles Leon Lett and Chester McGlockton in free agency.

Washington, 28, was a valued reserve for the Ravens last season. His biggest contribution came in a 24-10 AFC divisional playoff win over the Tennessee Titans, when he blocked two attempted field goals.

Brown, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent whose Baltimore fate was linked to Sharper. A four-year veteran linebacker and backup to Peter Boulware last season, Brown entered the free-agent period in search of a starting job - either in Baltimore or elsewhere.

Now it appears it's elsewhere, although neither his agent, Terry Lavenstein, nor the Ravens' vice president of player personnel, Ozzie Newsome, ruled out a possible return by Brown in 2001.

"The possibility exists," Lavenstein said. "It just hasn't been explored yet."

Brown will explore other options first. No sooner had Sharper's deal been announced Tuesday than Lavenstein received a call from the Oakland Raiders. The two sides exchanged numbers, but not proposals.

Other teams that have expressed interest in Brown are the St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

Lavenstein was keeping his options open, including a possible one-year deal.

"At this stage, it's important that Cornell show the rest of the league he can start," he said.

NOTES: The Ravens have all their scouts in this week for extensive meetings to set up the draft board. ... Newsome finished tied for second behind Seattle general manager Randy Mueller in the Sporting News' NFL Executive of the Year Award this season. Mueller received 16 votes from his peers, and Newsome and Philadelphia's Tom Modrak received four apiece. ... The Ravens are attempting to restructure the contract of split end Qadry Ismail. ... The Ravens don't have a problem with the league's new ban on bandanas. Coach Brian Billick imposed a ban of his own when he arrived in Baltimore. Only middle linebacker Ray Lewis, because of a scalp condition, is allowed to wear one. ... In the event the Ravens lost Sharper, they had discussions about going after Levon Kirkland, a salary cap casualty this off-season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kirkland agreed to a contract with Seattle on Tuesday.

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