7 years, $44.5 million for Lewis

Nfl

March 11, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Ray Lewis officially signed his contract, and it locks him up for longer than previously believed.

According to the NFL Players Association, the Pro Bowl middle linebacker officially signed a seven-year deal that totals $44.5 million, including $12.25 million in bonuses.

Because Lewis turns 34 before the season, the Ravens probably are looking at this as a three-year deal, but they are spreading the prorated bonuses over seven seasons. In the first three years of the contract, Lewis would earn $22 million, as was reported last week.

This season, Lewis will receive a $6.25 million signing bonus, a $2.75 million roster bonus and $1 million in base salary. In 2010, the Ravens would need to pick up a $1.25 million roster bonus on Lewis and pay him $4.25 million in base salary. In 2011, there is a $2 million roster bonus and $4.5 million in base salary.

His base salaries in the final four years would be $4.95 million in 2012, $5.4 million in 2013, $5.85 million in 2014 and $6.3 million in 2015. Base salaries in the NFL are not guaranteed if a player is released.

Meanwhile, cornerback Jarrett Bush is scheduled to visit the Ravens today. A restricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers, Bush is regarded as a strong special teams player who can provide depth at cornerback and safety.

If the Ravens sign him to an offer sheet, Green Bay has the right to match the deal. If the Packers don't, the Ravens do not have to give up any draft picks as compensation because Bush was an undrafted player and was given the low tender.

Bush, who is 6 feet, 200 pounds, met Monday with the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens are looking for a second-tier cornerback to fill the void left by the departure of free agent Corey Ivy.

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