Hours prior to Smith striking a deal with Minnesota, Ravens general manager
Ozzie Newsome denied a published report that he offered a contract to the former
New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter.
“That’s not true,” Newsome said Tuesday afternoon. “We do have some interest."
The Ravens’ least experienced and accomplished defensive position is the
starting safety vacancy opposite former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ed Reed.
Fifth-round draft pick Dawan Landry is slated to compete with Gerome Sapp for
the top spot on a safety depth chart also populated by B.J. Ward, Robb Butler
and Jamaine Winborne. The job opened this spring when Will Demps signed with the
New York Giants.
Newsome said that considering the possibility of acquiring Smith shouldn’t be
interpreted as a lack of confidence in Landry, whom Baltimore drafted in the
fifth round and gave a $129,000 signing bonus, or Sapp, whom the team reacquired
from the Indianapolis Colts for a conditional pick in next year’s draft.
"We're going to look at everyone at camp," Newsome said.
Former Atlanta Falcons safety Keion Carpenter, a Baltimore native who was cut by
Atlanta, recently said that his agent contacted the Ravens. The interest doesn't
appear to be mutual, though, and Baltimore is unlikely to sign a veteran days
before training camp.
Meanwhile, negotiations are intensifying with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, the
No. 12 overall selection and the team’s lone unsigned draft pick. However, no
deal appears imminent.
Ngata's agent, Mike McCartney, who also represents unsigned Green Bay Packers
rookie linebacker A.J. Hawk (the No. 5 overall pick), didn’t return telephone
The Ravens gained a reference point for constructing Ngata’s deal when Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Kamerion Wimbley -- the No. 13 overall pick – signed a
six-year, $23.7 million deal that included $9.3 million in guaranteed money.
If the Philadelphia Eagles sign defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley -- the No. 14
pick – the Ravens would have even more information to refer to under the NFL
With players reporting to training camp in Westminster on Thursday, Newsome
didn’t offer a prediction for when a deal might be brokered between Ravens
senior vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty and McCartney.
The Ravens haven’t had their first-round pick signed on time since the summer of
2001 when tight end Todd Heap agreed to terms days before practice started at
McDaniel College. The Ravens have already agreed to terms with 9 of their 10
“You never know when a deal is going to be finished, but Pat Moriarty and Mike
McCartney are working extremely hard,” Newsome said. “We’re concentrating on
getting Haloti’s deal done.”
Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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