Ngata remained in the Baltimore area with relatives in case his deal was
struck and is expected to sign his contract today at McDaniel College prior to
the afternoon practice.
“I’m really relieved that it’s done and now I can go out there and play
football,” Ngata said in a telephone interview. “I couldn’t afford to miss too
much time because I only had that one rookie minicamp. The Ravens were very fair
to me. It’s a good deal.”
The Ravens and Ngata’s agent, Mike McCartney, were haggling over contract length
and Ngata preferred a five-year deal. The contract includes no buyback clause,
escalators or voidable years for the 12th overall selection.
“It’s a great contract for Haloti,” said McCartney, who praised Ravens chief
negotiator Pat Moriarty “I can’t wait to see the impact he has on the team.”
Ngata’s deal is difficult to compare to the six-year, $23.7 million pact inked
by Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Kamerion Wimbley -- the No. 13 overall
pick. Wimbley’s deal includes $9.3 million in guaranteed money, a lucrative
buyback clause and a voidable year after the fifth season, but Ngata is
scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent sooner.
Wimbley’s deal drew harsh scrutiny in the football industry because his agent,
Joe Linta, also represents Browns coach Romeo Crennel.
“We didn’t really want to go off Wimbley’s deal, which was a bad one and we were
waiting for Jay Cutler’s contract to get done, which was a good deal,” said
Ngata, referring to the Denver Broncos’ rookie quarterback drafted one spot
ahead of him who received a six-year contract with a maximum value of $48
million that included numerous escalator clauses dependent on playing time and
Quarterback deals aren't applicable to comparison because they traditionally
receive richer deals than other position players.
Now that the financial business is behind him, Ngata is slated to become an
instant starter at defensive tackle for the Ravens.
The consensus All-American and Co-Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Year registered
61 tackles last season, three sacks two blocked kicks and nine tackles for
losses. He holds the Ducks’ record with seven blocked kicks and often commanded
double and triple-team blocking schemes from offensive coordinators.
Ngata, who missed all of the team’s full minicamps because of an NFL-NCAA rule
that prohibits rookies from attending offseason practices until their college
class graduates, said he has been training hard and is in good condition. He
appeared to be physically fit and agile at a rookie minicamp this spring.
“Just let him know when he comes in that nothing slows down,” said middle
linebacker Ray Lewis, who will line up behind Ngata. “He has to pick it up.
Hopefully, he’s getting in great shape and will be ready when he gets here.”
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