Ravens still unable to agree with Ngata

July 27, 2006

The Ravens appear headed for another absence by a first-round pick.

Talks between the Ravens and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata have reached a stalemate, a league source said yesterday. The Ravens, who report to training camp today, haven't signed a first-round pick on time since 2001.

Negotiations were expected to pick up this week after the Cleveland Browns signed linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who was selected one pick after Ngata (the 12th overall selection). But Wimbley's deal might have hurt talks.

When asked if Wimbley received a fair deal, two agents raised their eyebrows at it because Wimbley's agent, Joe Linta, also represents Browns coach Romeo Crennel. Wimbley signed a six-year, $23.7 million contract that includes $9.3 million in guaranteed money.

Wimbley's deal is believed to be a sticking point between the Philadelphia Eagles and their first-round pick, defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley. Selected one pick after Wimbley, Bunkley has held out of training camp for a week.

If Wimbley's deal is a below-market one, it could be difficult to determine an agreeable framework for Ngata. The sides can't gauge Ngata's worth by waiting for the deals ahead of them because both were quarterbacks (Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler), who receive richer contracts than other position players.

It could take other picks in the middle of the first round to sign before Ngata and the Ravens can reach a deal.

Phone calls to Ngata's agent, Mike McCartney, were not returned.

Note -- Sherrill Ogden, the father of offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, died yesterday. The cause of death is unknown. He recently had kidney problems and entered the hospital last week.

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