Ravens to host M. Robinson

OWINGS MILLS - In regards to Marcus Robinson, franchises interested in the veteran wide receiver will have to determine a few critical elements. How healthy is the former Chicago Bears' deep threat? Can Robinson, 28, regain his Pro Bowl alternate form demonstrated in the 1999 campaign? How much will it cost the Baltimore Ravens sign him amid competition from at least five other clubs?

The Ravens will likely investigate all of those questions thoroughly today during Robinson's visit to their training complex one day after he met with the Detroit Lions.

"It's our understanding that he's healthy," said Ravens coach Brian Billick, whose team didn't draft a receiver over the weekend. "If he is, he would be a good addition to us because he has proven experience and a certain explosiveness about him."

Since the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Robinson experienced a breakthrough season in 1999 with 84 catches for 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns, a string of injuries hampered his production and led to his release in Chicago.

Only four years ago, Robinson signed a four-year, $14.4 million contract.

In 2000, he was placed on injured reserve with a bad lower back after catching 55 passes.

His 2001 season ended after six games when he tore the anterior and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.

With the Bears shifting their focus to accommodate Marty Booker, David Terrell and Dez White, there wasn't much room left for Robinson. He was limited to 21 receptions for 244 yards last season.

The Bears granted permission to Robinson's agent to look into trade possibilities. Due to a salary-cap figure of $2.6 million, it was evident Robinson was going to eventually be released, though.

Robinson's track record since being drafted in the fourth round out of South Carolina in the 1997 NFL draft has been strong with 187 career receptions for 2,695 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Billick's scouting report: "Big receiver, good vertical, great hands, has had a lot of bad luck. Maybe we can be the right place for him to kind of get on track."

Robinson has already visited the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit and is expected to visit the Green Bay Packers later this week. The New England Patriots could be another interested party.

"There's going to be a market for Marcus," said Ken Sarnoff, Robinson's agent, who professes his client to be in good health. "Marcus has a lot of interest in Baltimore because it's a good organization."

Meanwhile, Arizona lost David Boston (San Diego), Frank Sanders (Baltimore) and MarTay Jenkins (Atlanta) in free agency, but just traded for Larry Foster from Detroit.

The 49ers feature Terrell Owens, but are expected to release J.J. Stokes after June 1 due to salary-cap and productivity issues.

The Raiders' Tim Brown and Jerry Rice are up in years, so a complement to Jerry Porter would be in order.

Detroit just drafted Michigan State's Charles Rogers second overall, but veterans Bill Schroeder and Az-Zahir Hakim have been disappointments.

In Green Bay, Robert Ferguson and Javon Walker could use a mentor. Last season, Baltimore had 20 touchdown passes and averaged 177.9 passing yards a contest, ranking 27th in passing yards a game, 15th in total offense.

Robinson was scheduled to earn $2 million in base salary next season before being cut by Chicago, but the majority of the teams he's talking with are expected to offer a veteran minimum contract with some incentive clauses.

"We'll put our best foot forward and try to explain to him why we think this is a good situation for him," Billick said. "The key for Marcus is to get healthy and get somewhere he has the opportunity to play."

NOTES: Billick said he hadn't spoken with incumbent starting quarterback Chris Redman since the team drafted Cal quarterback Kyle Boller in the first round.

Redman has talked with offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh.

Billick said he doesn't expect to have a quarterback controversy and reiterated again that Redman and Boller will compete with Redman way out in front presently.

"Chris will handle all of that just fine, as will Kyle," Billick said. "Chris is still the starting quarterback. He has the job and possession is 9/10 of the law. I think he and Kyle will become friends quickly, but it is a competitive situation." … Billick said the team gave Boller some DVDs and a playbook to familiarize himself with the offense before next week's full-team minicamp. …

Ravens safety Corey Fuller is scheduled to visit Coleman-Medium, a federal correctional facility in Florida, on Monday as part of an outreach program to prisoners. "I just want to give back, to let those men know that we are all human, that everyone makes mistakes and that they still have a second chance to do something positive after their release," Fuller said. "I hope that I can reach at least one of these young men. If I can do that, it will all be worth it."


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