Rolle reversal: Corner returns

Veteran signs 4-year deal

starting status uncertain

April 07, 2009|By Ken Murray and Mike Preston | Ken Murray and Mike Preston,ken.murray@baltsun.com and mike.preston@baltsun.com

Fences mended, Samari Rolle did an about-face Monday and rejoined the Ravens just 20 days after the veteran cornerback was granted a release from the team.

In the wake of a recent meeting with general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh, Rolle signed a four-year contract that likely means he will finish his career with the Ravens.

"Before I came in to have that meeting, no one could have told me that I would ever play for this organization again," Rolle said.

"But after the meeting with Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh, we came to an understanding. This is an opportunity for me to retire as a Raven, as opposed to moving someplace else, playing for a year, and then going on from that point."

Perception gave way to reality in that air-clearing session. On March 1, two days after the Ravens signed unrestricted free agent cornerback Domonique Foxworth to a four-year, $27.2 million contract, Rolle, feeling unwanted, asked the team to release him.

The Ravens did on March 18, a day after they agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with free agent Chris Carr.

Rolle's relationship with the Ravens went downhill when they asked him to take a salary cut for the second straight year. Terms of Rolle's new contract were not announced, and no Ravens officials were available to comment.

Rolle, 32, made one visit as a free agent. He stopped in to see Rex Ryan, formerly the Ravens defensive coordinator and now head coach of the New York Jets.

Where Rolle fits in the secondary is uncertain. He started 10 games last season, despite neck surgery in October and an assortment of nagging injuries through the year. It is likely he will compete with Foxworth and Fabian Washington for one of the two starting positions.

Asked Monday whether he is still a starter, Rolle said: "That subject was never approached. I'm assuming that it's like it has been ever since I came to Baltimore. We have to play everything out, and we'll go from there. There are no guarantees in this league. But the Ravens explained everything to me ... and everything is fine."

An 11-year veteran, Rolle began his NFL career as a second-round draft pick by the Tennessee Titans in 1998. He has eight interceptions in four seasons with the Ravens.

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