Ravens host Marcus Robinson

OWINGS MILLS - Marcus Robinson visited the Baltimore Ravens' training complex on Wednesday. And the experienced wide receiver didn't leave his signature on a contract, but did make an impression with the mobility and health he demonstrated in his workout and physical. "He's a big, physical wide receiver who has made a lot of plays in the NFL," Baltimore quarterbacks and receivers coach David Shaw said of Robinson, who caught passes from reserve quarterback Anthony Wright.

"He has great hands, the toughness to go across the middle and the speed to stretch the defense."

The oft-injured former Chicago Bears standout represents a potentially intriguing package of size and speed.

Four years ago, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound wideout was an alternate to the Pro Bowl with 84 catches for 1,400 yards and nine touchdowns.

Robinson is being courted by several teams besides the Ravens, including the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. The Packers are his next destination. That leaves Robinson with a decision to make and a possible negotiation between the Ravens and agent Ken Sarnoff.

"He's coming to a place that's willing to throw the football, that takes care of its people, has a good program intact and the potential to be a playoff team every year," Ravens pro personnel director George Kokinis said. "He had a solid workout. He looks like he's in pretty good shape. "He's had a little bit of a whirlwind tour. He's a pro and he handles it like a pro."

After the 1999 campaign, Robinson signed a four-year, $14.4 million contract. His next contract is expected to be for the veteran minimum along with incentive clauses.

Injuries have stymied Robinson ever since an ailing lower back sent him to injured reserve during the 2000 season after 55 receptions. Robinson tore the anterior and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee six games into the 2001 season. Last year, he had basically regained his health, but was in line behind Marty Booker, David Terrell and Dez White. So, he was held to 21 receptions for 244 yards.

"Obviously, he has the size we're looking for," Kokinis said. "I think he would be a nice addition to the corps."

In terms of opportunity to play, Baltimore ranks right up there with the other contenders for Robinson's services after not drafting a receiver last weekend.

Its leading returning receiver is Travis Taylor, who caught 61 passes for 869 yards and six touchdowns last year. Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap led the Ravens with 68 catches. The Ravens did sign former Arizona Cardinals starter Frank Sanders, but could probably use another downfield target.

"We're in pretty good shape having signed Frank," Shaw said. "We've got young guys who have all made their rookie mistakes. Now, it's time for them to rise to the next level and perform like veterans. It would be great to have another veteran to go with them."

Baltimore lost Brandon Stokley (24 catches) in free agency to Indianapolis.

Running backs Jamal Lewis (47 catches) and Chester Taylor (14 catches) and tight end Terry Jones (11 catches) all ranked ahead of the other receivers.

The cumulative totals for Ron Johnson, Randy Hymes and Javin Hunter: 21 catches, 272 yards and one touchdown.

Last season, Baltimore had just 20 touchdown passes and ranked 27th in the league with an average of 177.9 passing yards per contest. Those statistics ensure something else: legitimate competition for jobs as little is guaranteed to anyone besides Taylor and Sanders.

"With free agency and the salary cap, we're going to have some turnover," Shaw said. "You're going to lose some guys. There are a couple of established guys, but everyone else is going to have to earn their spots."


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