Boulware contract not a problem

Ravens have not asked linebacker to restructure

he won't be cap casualty

Pro Football

February 26, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Ravens officials said they will not have to make any salary cap cuts for the third straight season, which comes as good news for Peter Boulware.

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker is scheduled to earn $6 million - the most of any Raven this season - and had been mentioned as a potential cap casualty by some national media.

Several teams are determining which high-priced veterans to release to get under the NFL's $85.5 million spending limit by Tuesday. But the Ravens, who are approximately $15 million under the cap, said Boulware's escalating salary (it jumped nearly $4 million from last season) won't be a problem for now.

"We certainly know what that [salary] is, and we're prepared to account for it," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "But that's certainly something we will look at and discuss over the next couple of months with Peter."

To make Boulware's contract more cap-friendly - he is scheduled to make $6 million in the final four years of his deal - the Ravens will likely approach him about restructuring it.

Boulware, 30, said he has not heard yet from the team about reworking his contract.

"I don't like to get involved in that part anyway," Boulware said. "I'll let my agent take care of that, and I will concentrate on rehabbing."

Boulware missed all of last season after having surgeries on his knee and toe.

A knee injury suffered at the end of the 2003 season kept him sidelined until early November. In Boulware's second practice, he hurt his toe and never returned.

Boulware later had toe surgery and left the Ravens practice complex on crutches at the end of the season. He said he can begin jogging in a couple of weeks and wants to participate in the team's first passing camp in the middle of May.

"I know physically I will be able to do it," Boulware said. "It will be up to the Ravens as to how much they will want me to do."

Asked if he could return as an every-down linebacker again this season, Boulware said, "I think so, I really do. I'll come back fresher and healthier than I've ever been. Hopefully, it won't take long for me to get that game feel back."

The only other Ravens who could have been in jeopardy of being cut for salary cap purposes were offensive tackle Orlando Brown ($1.34 million salary in 2005) and backup cornerback Corey Fuller ($1.25 million).

"We don't have any cap issues that would typically force those issues," Billick said. "We're in great shape right now."

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