Ngata’s agent, Mike McCartney, didn’t return telephone calls, but no deal is
in sight as the two sides are believed to be far apart. In an e-mail, McCartney
said he continues to talk with the Ravens.
The deadlock with the 350-pound former Oregon star and 12th overall selection
continues the Ravens’ streak of not having their first-round draft pick signed
on time since 2001.
The contract signed by Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley --
the No. 13 overall pick -- was expected to accelerate the Ngata talks. Instead,
the six-year, $23.7 million deal, which includes $9.3 million in guaranteed
money and a voidable year after the fifth season, is having a negative effect.
Several agents have raised questions about a conflict of interest because
Wimbley’s agent, Joe Linta, also represents Browns coach Romeo Crennel, and if
the deal is rich enough compared to the previous No. 13 pick. While Linta has
maintained that Wimbley’s guaranteed money reflects a 9.5 percent increase,
another interpretation suggests only a 5 percent increase.
It’s unclear what Ngata’s specific contract demands are, but he’s obviously
looking for more money than Wimbley. Shawn Merriman, last year’s No. 12 pick,
signed a five-year, $11.3 million contract that included $9 million in
guaranteed money with a maximum value of $15.7 million, including escalator
Another obstacle is the contentious standoff between the Philadelphia Eagles and
defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, the No. 14 pick. Haggling over contract
length has caused a one-week holdout.
The two players picked directly above Ngata -- Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler –
haven’t signed and won’t be applicable for slotting comparison because of the
lucrative contracts quarterbacks traditionally receive.
NOTES: Wide receiver Mark Clayton, who has been plagued by a nagging hamstring
injury, said he’s confident that it's behind him. “It was my lower back that was
the problem,” Clayton said. “They figured out that my back was tight and
affecting my leg muscles when I ran. Everything is aligned now.” … Outside
linebacker Roderick Green, who was stabbed outside a bowling alley earlier this
month, is fully cleared for practice. He declined to elaborate on the incident
or his alleged attacker, Chase Maran Williams, who was arrested and charged with
attempted first degree murder and felony assault. “I’m good to go and all I’m
doing is concentrating on this training camp and nothing else,” Green said. “I
would just rather not talk about it.” … The Ravens signed defensive tackle Remi Ayodele, the younger brother of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Akin Ayodele. The
6-foot-2, 300-pounder was cut by the New England Patriots. …Baltimore waived
defensive tackle Cedric Hilliard when he didn’t pass his physical.
Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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