Team feels it's favorite in bidding for Adams

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Offer significantly more than those of competitors

August 14, 2002|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

The Ravens still regard themselves as the front-runners to sign Sam Adams because they are offering substantially more than the other teams pursuing the free-agent defensive tackle.

It is believed that the Ravens have a multi-year offer on the table that would pay him between $2.5 million and $3 million this season and could reach $5 million if incentives are reached. Adams, though, wants the entire $5 million guaranteed.

The Ravens' deal dwarfs other offers being considered by Adams. The Denver Broncos have offered a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, and the Seattle Seahawks have talked about a one-year deal totaling $1.2 million.

"We hold a high value on Sam," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Adams, 29, said on Friday that he wants to make a decision this week. If Adams waits another week to sign, it's unlikely that he'll be ready to play a full game in the season opener.

The 6-foot-3, 330-pound defensive lineman was a Pro Bowl performer in each of his two seasons with the Ravens. He would shift to defensive end in the Ravens' new 3-4 scheme but would basically play his same defensive tackle role.

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

Baxter out

Gary Baxter will miss the second preseason game tomorrow and isn't sure when he'll return.

Sidelined with a strained hamstring, Baxter needs the on-field experience to ease his transition from safety to cornerback. Alvin Porter is expected to start in Baxter's place.

"I just have to continue to rehab it and get it strong before I go out there," Baxter said. "If I come back too soon, I could re-injure it and I wouldn't want that. I'm already missing a lot of time."

Luck of the Irish

If Javin Hunter breaks into the spotlight, he could break a stigma about Notre Dame receivers. Outside of the likes of Tim Brown and Raghib Ismail, many receivers from the Fighting Irish's run-oriented system haven't panned out recently in the NFL.

"We're trying to prove that stereotype wrong and make plays," said Hunter, a sixth-round pick who caught 63 passes in his four-year career in South Bend, Ind.

Although Hunter's inexperience can surface in his route running, the Ravens have been impressed with his speed, change of direction and concentration. In the preseason opener, he had one reception for 14 yards and gained 18 yards on a reverse for the longest run of the game.

And being a receiver from Notre Dame has its advantages. "The one thing that we know about receivers from Notre Dame is that he's going to block," quarterbacks and receivers coach David Shaw said. "We love that mentality about him."

End zone

Outside linebacker Peter Boulware, who had two bone spurs removed from his ankle in June, said he wants to return to practice by the weekend. He is on the physically unable to perform list. ... Defensive end Michael McCrary, who is also on the physically unable to perform list, pounded the blocking sled during an individual workout.

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