Adams: choice of teams by next week

Ex-Raven mulling offers from old team, Denver, Cincinnati and Seattle

August 10, 2002|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

The Ravens may know within a week if they'll add a familiar piece to their rebuilding defense.

Free-agent defensive tackle Sam Adams, a Pro Bowl performer the past two years for the Ravens, said yesterday that he wants to make a decision on where to sign by next week. The top player remaining in the free-agent market, Adams has been in talks with the Ravens, the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals.

While a league source indicated that the Ravens are the front-runners, Adams claimed there was no favorite. He will select the team that gives him the best deal and comfort level.

"I love Baltimore and I would be honored to be a Raven again," said Adams from his home in the Puget Sound, Wash., area. "But the numbers aren't up to par at this time."

The Ravens entered the picture last week, when they freed $1 million in cap room by restructuring linebacker Ray Lewis' contract and made Adams their free-agent priority. The team has had to part ways with seven starters from last year's defense.

Adams, 29, has turned down a three-year offer for a reported $8.5 million to $9 million from the Bengals, including $3 million this season in signing bonus and base salary. He had been weighing recent one-year deals from the Broncos and Seahawks worth $1.5 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

It is believed that the Ravens will come in with a multi-year offer significantly higher than either the Broncos' or the Seahawks'.

"I know I'll be with a team shortly," Adams said. "I'm hoping that it will happen in about a week. I just have to be patient."

Adams was the last cut the Ravens made to get under the salary cap in March. The team saved $6.041 million of cap space by voiding his contract.

The eight-year veteran indicated there was no ill will toward the Ravens, saying, "Baltimore was in a tight situation and had their hands tied."

Some believe Adams' long decision-making process helped him bypass the most physically demanding portion of training camp. Adams, who was listed at 330 pounds last season, said the wait was more about holding out to find the right offer.

"Everybody needs training camp," Adams said. "I miss it. No one likes it, but I want to be in camp. I'm in condition. I'm prepared to go to another Pro Bowl.

"My mind is focused and I'm ready to rock and roll."

A vital cog in the league's second-ranked defense the past two seasons, Adams has one of the quickest first steps in the game. A defensive tackle in the Ravens' 4-3 defense, he caused havoc by penetrating into the backfield.

The Ravens' switch to a 3-4 scheme should not faze Adams, who played in a similar defense at Texas A&M. His only request is to be allowed to attack and not be forced into a read-and-react system.

"I'm going to be effective wherever I play," Adams said. "God willing, I'm going to be at the top of my class like the last two years.

"I just have to be allowed to get up the field. That way I'll be detrimental to somebody's health."

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