Ravens, Cunningham on road toward contract

`I haven't signed anything yet,' QB says, but deal set to be done in June

Pro Football

May 25, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham and the Ravens remain close to agreeing on a one-year contract that will allow him to finish his career here.

"I haven't signed anything yet," Cunningham said yesterday. "But I am looking at a contract. It might be premature to say that it is a done deal, though."

Cunningham, 38, said he and the team have set a June 1 date as an unofficial deadline. The date is also when the next round of veteran cuts around the NFL will occur, though that should have no bearing on Cunningham's deal.

"My heart is with the team," Cunningham said. "The role they want me in is a great role."

Basically, Cunningham will be the third-string quarterback behind Elvis Grbac and Chris Redman. But with Cunningham familiar with coach Brian Billick's offense from their days in Minnesota (1997-98), Cunningham could be asked to start ahead of Redman if Grbac is injured for a significant amount of time. He threw for 849 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Dallas Cowboys, backing up often-injured Troy Aikman.

"We're almost done," Billick said of Cunningham's impending signing. "We're close, but I can't say we're done yet. I'm confident that this is going to happen."

If a reversal of fortunes happen and the deal with Cunningham fails to materialize, the Ravens could turn to recently released backup quarterback Moses Moreno.

Moreno spent the past two seasons with the San Diego Chargers, where he played behind former Ravens quarterback Jim Harbaugh and Ryan Leaf. The Chargers signed Doug Flutie this off-season and drafted Purdue's Drew Brees with their second-round pick, which led to Moreno's release.

Moreno, 6 feet 1, 205 pounds, was a seventh-round draft pick out of Colorado State in 1998 by the Chicago Bears, where he spent one season before going to San Diego. Moreno, 25, completed 27 of 53 passes for 241 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions last year.

NOTE: Linebacker Cornell Brown officially signed his one-year contract yesterday. Terms are undisclosed.

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