Ngata a holdout

Staff Writer
Posted Jul 27, 2006


WESTMINSTER -- Rookie defensive tackle Haloti Ngata officially became a holdout Thursday night as the Baltimore Ravens reported to training camp, and the stalemate with the first-round draft pick shows no signs of abating.

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 clauses.

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.

If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on RavensInsider.Com
URL:http://www.ravensinsider.com



Related Stories
Ravens, Ngata deadlocked
 -by RavensInsider.com  Jul 27, 2006
Ngata ends holdout
 -by RavensInsider.com  Jul 29, 2006
Ngata hits camp with an impact
 -by RavensInsider.com  Jul 29, 2006

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