First-round Pick Oher Agrees To Deal

Offensive Tackle Could Sign For 5 Years Today And Begin Practicing On Friday

July 30, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

The Ravens agreed to a five-year deal with their first-round selection, offensive tackle Michael Oher, late Wednesday night, joining the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets as the only NFL organizations to come to terms with their entire rookie draft classes.

Terms of the contract were not released, but Oher, the 23rd overall pick in April's draft, is expected to fly in from Memphis, Tenn., today and travel to the team hotel in Westminster.

He is expected to sign the deal, take a physical and join the club on its administrative day. If there is no obstacle, Oher could suit up and practice Friday, when the franchise has its first full-team practice.

Oher, 23, who played at Mississippi, grew up homeless in Memphis. His life was the subject of a best-selling book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, by Michael Lewis, which is being made into a movie with Sandra Bullock starring as Oher's adoptive mother and Kathy Bates as his longtime tutor.

"Very happy to get it done," general manager Ozzie Newsome said through a team spokesman. "We appreciate the fairness from [agent] Jim Sexton and Michael Oher, and we think we got a fair deal. [Vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty] worked really hard to get this done."

Coach John Harbaugh said on the team's Web site: "We knew Michael wanted to be here. He said that many times. Ozzie wanted him to be here, and his agent wanted him to be here, too. The agent wanted to make sure he did the right thing by Michael, and we wanted that. A big congratulations to Pat and Ozzie for working hard to get this done."

Oher, 6 feet 4 and 310 pounds, is expected to replace the retired Willie Anderson as the starter at right tackle, but he could face some competition from Adam Terry and Oniel Cousins.

Oher was rated as the fifth-best offensive player in the draft by the Ravens. His size and bruising style of play could make him a fixture on the right side of a young, developing offensive line for years.

The club was still working to arrange a news conference today with Newsome and Oher.

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