Thomas: `They don't have the money'

Pending free-agent linebacker says he understands Ravens not re-signing him

February 26, 2007|By Rick Maese | Rick Maese,Sun reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- If Adalius Thomas has any hard feelings toward the Ravens after the club failed to re-sign him last week, they weren't in evidence last night at Comcast Center.

Before the Maryland-North Carolina men's basketball game, Thomas - expected to be a highly sought-after free agent - came over to the courtside seat occupied by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and gave him a warm hug.

Thomas, who attended the game with Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, didn't hold out much chance of returning to the team.

Any hopes of staying are "irrelevant," said Thomas, 29. "They don't have the money."

The Ravens didn't apply the franchise tag on Thomas to keep him, but he said he wasn't hurt or surprised by that.

After establishing himself as a versatile All-Pro linebacker in 2006, "what you hope for is a payout," he said. "Unfortunately, it's bad timing right now [with the Ravens].

"It's a business. I know that. It's always been that way. It didn't just start that way with me. It's always been that way."

Those pursuing Thomas are likely to include the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers, but he didn't say where he is leaning.

"March 2 [when free agency begins], maybe there will be more to say," he said. "Not a lot you can do. It's a patience game right now.

"The money will take care of itself. ... You just got to hope in this league that if you play good enough, you'll get paid. So we'll see."

rick.maese@baltsun.com

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