Washington set to leave Ravens for Broncos

Reserve DE OK's deal for four years, $6.3M

Pro Football

April 07, 2001|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Reserve defensive end Keith Washington ostensibly became the third player to leave the world champion Ravens this off-season when he agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos yesterday.

According to his agent, Steve Weinberg, Washington will get a four-year contract worth as much as $6.3 million to join the team the Ravens beat in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

Also according to Weinberg, Washington will get a chance to compete for the starting left end job currently held by Maa Tanuvasa. The Broncos signed Lester Archambeau in free agency a year ago to play left end, but he was a bust.

Washington, acquired as a free agent in 1997, spent four years with the Ravens. He signed a three-year, $2.5 million contract last off-season, but was waived last month to make salary cap space for newly signed offensive tackle Leon Searcy.

Due to make $650,000 with the Ravens this season, Washington will collect at least an extra $250,000 this season in Denver, Weinberg said.

The key issue for Washington was the signing bonus. Although Weinberg declined to reveal Denver's bonus, he said it was the biggest of three offers on the table, including the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.

"I think the Ravens underestimated his value," Weinberg said.

It's believed Washington's contract is heavily back-loaded.

Washington, 28, started one game in four years with the Ravens. He had 29 regular-season tackles last season and 10 more in the postseason. His shining moment came in a 24-10 divisional playoff win over the Tennessee Titans when he blocked two field-goal attempts.

He had four tackles in the Super Bowl when he filled in for an injured Michael McCrary in the first half of the 34-7 win over the New York Giants.

When Washington signs the contract next week, he will become the third member of the team to leave in free agency, joining center Jeff Mitchell (Carolina Panthers) and safety Kim Herring (St. Louis Rams).

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