`Tag' deadline is today for Thomas

February 22, 2007|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun Reporter

The Ravens are not expected to use the franchise tag on All-Pro linebacker Adalius Thomas, although the team will wait until today before making a final decision.

The sides are talking about a long-term contract for Thomas, and the Ravens could be using the threat of the tag to get a deal done.

The deadline to use the tag is today. By using the tag for 2007, the Ravens can keep Thomas from becoming a free agent by paying him $7.2 million, which is the average of the five highest-paid linebackers in the league.

If they don't use it, Thomas would become an unrestricted free agent March 2.

The Ravens are unlikely to use the tag because they lack significant salary cap room and don't like the animosity it creates between the player and the team.

They have used the franchise tag on only two players (cornerback Chris McAlister and offensive lineman Wally Williams) in the team's 11-year history.

Thomas, 29, finished with a career-high 11 sacks this season.

Note -- The Ravens are trying to restructure Jamal Lewis' contract before he is due a $5 million roster bonus March 3. If a deal can't be reached, Lewis will be released.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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