C. Carr to be newest addition

ravens

Veteran will add cornerback depth and perhaps take over as returner

March 15, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

The Ravens have reached an agreement in principle with Chris Carr, a free-agent addition who provides depth at cornerback and a possible upgrade in the return game.

Carr, 25, will sign a two-year, $5 million contract tomorrow after completing a physical at Ravens headquarters. It is believed the Ravens outbid their AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers, who were offering $800,000 less per season.

Last season with the Tennessee Titans, Carr was fourth in the NFL on kickoff returns (28.1-yard average) and 12th on punt returns (10.1). He could overtake the return specialist job from the Ravens' Yamon Figurs, who ranked 35th in the NFL on kickoff returns (21.0) and 24th on punt returns (6.0) last season.

Carr has ties with the Ravens. He played under Ravens secondary coach Chuck Pagano when both were with the Oakland Raiders. Carr was also a teammate of cornerback Fabian Washington there.

An undrafted rookie out of Boise State, Carr spent his first three NFL seasons with the Raiders and finished as the team's all-time kickoff-return leader with 201 returns for 4,841 yards (24.1 average).

As a returner, Carr has been consistent but not a game-breaker. He has not returned a kick or punt for a touchdown in four seasons. His longest return was a 62-yard kickoff in 2005.

The Ravens also bolstered their depth at cornerback after parting ways with Chris McAlister and Corey Ivy. The team is also expected to release Samari Rolle tomorrow.

Carr, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound defensive back, has made only two interceptions in 64 regular-season games, but he could compete with Frank Walker at nickel back. He broke up a career-high five passes in 2008, his only season with the Titans.

Carr drew interest in free agency, visiting the Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots this offseason.

Before landing Carr, the Ravens also looked at cornerbacks Jarrett Bush and Karl Paymah.

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