Ravens sign Carlisle, Maese [UPDATED]

Ravens sign Carlisle, Maese [UPDATED]

OWINGS MILLS -- Bolstering special teams and offensive line depth, the Baltimore Ravens reached agreements in principle Tuesday on two-year contracts with long snapper Joe Maese and offensive lineman Cooper Carlisle.

Carlisle agreed to a contract worth just over $2 million that includes a $500,000 signing bonus. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound blocker will act as the primary backup at offensive tackle and guard. Carlisle, 27, was an unrestricted free agent who played in all 16 games for the Denver Broncos last season, starting five. The Broncos allowed 15 sacks, a franchise record, and rushed for 2,333 yards.

Carlisle has allowed two sacks in 62 career games. Maese, 26, has been the Ravens' long snapper since the club drafted him in 2001. He has only missed two games and been assessed just one penalty. The Ravens have just had five kicks blocked since 2001.

Over the past two seasons, Maese has snapped for 180 points, 67 field goal attempts and 61 extra points.

His contract is worth $1.185 million and includes a $100,000 signing bonus, according to NFL Players' Association figures. Maese is the only unrestricted free agent the Ravens have retained.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are trying to re-sign unrestricted free agent linebacker T.J. Slaughter. Slaughter is believed to be seeking a starter's salary and a four-year agreement with the basic framework of a $1 million signing bonus and an average salary of $1.5 million to $2.5 million.

"The Ravens want him to be the starter," said Michael Huyghue, Slaughter's agent. "I'm hoping we can get something done. Tampa Bay is still real interested and I'm trying to keep in Baltimore where he'll probably be the starter.

"He's been a good, loyal player for them. They really want him. I think if they do the right number we can get the deal done."

Slaughter could act as insurance behind All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis and possibly step in if outside linebacker Peter Boulware is unable to make a full recovery from injuries that sidelined him for the entire season.

A former starter in Jacksonville, Slaughter, 27, started the final game of last season in place of Lewis and registered seven tackles against the Miami Dolphins.

NOTES: The Minnesota Vikings signed Ravens bust Travis Taylor, giving him a chance to be their third wide receiver. The 10th overall pick in 2000, Taylor, 26, never emerged as a consistent downfield threat in Baltimore with career totals of 204 receptions, 2,758 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"Travis gives us a player with a tremendous amount of potential and the ability to be a game-breaker," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "He will have the chance to showcase his skills with us."

Taylor will catch passes from Daunte Culpepper. "It's a situation where Travis gets to play with one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, which is something unfortunately he hasn't had a chance to do the last five years," Mitch Frankel, Taylor's agent, told ESPN. "No disrespect to the quarterback in Baltimore, but Daunte's one of the best." ...

Linebacker Ed Hartwell was "very, very impressed" with the Seattle Seahawks, particularly defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, his agent Harold Lewis said. Lewis said he hopes this is Hartwell's final visit. ...

Offensive guard Bennie Anderson, who started for Baltimore since 2001, is in talks with the Broncos.

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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