Carr wants starting role to return

REISTERSTOWN - As much as cornerbacks are required to backpedal,Chris Carr sees no reason why he should give ground and retreat when it comes to his status as a starter After providing a reliable presence to the Baltimore Ravens'secondary last season when he started every game, Carr has no intentions of returning once free agency launches if he's not going to retain his status atop the depth chart

"Yeah, I want to play here, but I also want to have a big role," Carr said during safety Ed Reed's football camp at Franklin High. "If they see me having a big role, then I'm going to want to come back here. If not, then no because I feel like every year of my career I've gotten better and I'm only going to get better." When Domonique Foxworth tore his anterior cruciate ligament before the season began, Carr was elevated from a nickel back role to starting cornerback.

And the veteran unrestricted free agent recorded a career-high 67 tackles, forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes in his first season as a starter. Now, his two-year, $5 million contract has expired. While Carr, 28, lacks the size and speed of a prototypical shutdown cornerback, he's an extremely consistent, steady player who rarely gets beaten deep.

Even with the Ravens drafting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith in the first round, Foxworth expected to return and Lardarius Webb back, Carr doesn't envision himself taking on a smaller workload. "I don't want to be pigeonholed as a backup because I'm not a backup," Carr said. "I'm better than a lot of corners in this league. If they want me to play a big role, then, yes, I definitely want to come back, but if they don't and another team wants me to play a big role then I'll probably go someplace else." Carr and fellow cornerbacks Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents.

Washington doesn't want to return and isn't in the Ravens' plans, but the Ravens are expected to simultaneously conduct talks with Carr and Wilson whenever the NFL lockout is over. When they were allowed to earlier this offseason, the Ravens had preliminary discussions with both players. Does Carr think he's in the Ravens' plans? "It's really hard to say because you don't know what they're thinking exactly," Carr said. "I always told people the Ravens would have been stupid not to draft two corners during the draft because they're not sure how free agency is going to go and you have three corners who are unrestricted you have to get corners because you might not be able to sign them during free agency. I'm not sure what their mindset is going into free agency now.

"It's really one of those things where it's really up in the air because most years people say there's not supposed to be any talking, but players know what teams are going to be interested in them. This year, it hasn't been like that because of the lockout teams didn't want to tamper or break any rules so there's been no talking. So, I have no clue what teams are interested and I have no clue what the Ravens are thinking about right now."

Carr cleared up a persistent rumor this offseason that he's going to play safety opposite Reed. "Some reporter asked me about that and then everybody on the radio asked me about that, but no coach ever asked me to play safety," Carr said. "The question was if you play for the Ravens would you be willing to play safety and I said, 'If I sign with the Ravens I would be willing to do anything they wanted me to do.' "The plans of me playing safety are definitely not in the cards right now. I'm a cornerback. I know every position so I could play any position. I have played safety in the past. That's a rumor that has gone around. The plans of me playing safety are definitely not in the cards right now. I'm a cornerback." Besides drafting Smith, the Ravens also added University of Texas cornerback Chykie Brown in the fifth round.

"To me, it was evident that I was just as good or better than everybody that we had and they know that I know everything," Carr said. "I'm versatile. They know how well I jelled with everybody and how well I communicated with Ed Reed and with Dawan [Landry] and with all the other corners.

"I couldn't imagine them thinking that I can't do it. My confidence is sky-high. I'm not really worried about what they're thinking. It's a waiting game. I'll tell you one thing. If I don't come back, it's been great."

NOTES: The Ravens are projected to be $5.33 million under a $120 million salary cap, a figure that doesn't include roughly $10 million for their restricted free agent or the $2.5 million they could save by cutting running back Willis McGahee."Yeah, I want to play here, but I also want to have a big role," Carr said during safety Ed Reed's football camp at Franklin High. "If they see me having a big role, then I'm going to want to come back here. If not, then no because I feel like every year of my career I've gotten better and I'm only going to get better." When Domonique Foxworth tore his anterior cruciate ligament before the season began, Carr was elevated from a nickel back role to starting cornerback.

And the veteran unrestricted free agent recorded a career-high 67 tackles, forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes in his first season as a starter. Now, his two-year, $5 million contract has expired.

While Carr, 28, lacks the size and speed of a prototypical shutdown cornerback, he's an extremely consistent, steady player who rarely gets beaten deep.

Even with the Ravens drafting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith in the first round, Foxworth expected to return and Lardarius Webb back, Carr doesn't envision himself taking on a smaller workload. "I don't want to be pigeonholed as a backup because I'm not a backup," Carr said. "I'm better than a lot of corners in this league. If they want me to play a big role, then, yes, I definitely want to come back, but if they don't and another team wants me to play a big role then I'll probably go someplace else." Carr and fellow cornerbacks Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington are all unrestricted free agents.

Washington doesn't want to return and isn't in the Ravens' plans, but the Ravens are expected to simultaneously conduct talks with Carr and Wilson whenever the NFL lockout is over. When they were allowed to earlier this offseason, the Ravens had preliminary discussions with both players. Does Carr think he's in the Ravens' plans? "It's really hard to say because you don't know what they're thinking exactly," Carr said. "I always told people the Ravens would have been stupid not to draft two corners during the draft because they're not sure how free agency is going to go and you have three corners who are unrestricted you have to get corners because you might not be able to sign them during free agency. I'm not sure what their mindset is going into free agency now.

"It's really one of those things where it's really up in the air because most years people say there's not supposed to be any talking, but players know what teams are going to be interested in them. This year, it hasn't been like that because of the lockout teams didn't want to tamper or break any rules so there's been no talking. So, I have no clue what teams are interested and I have no clue what the Ravens are thinking about right now."

Carr cleared up a persistent rumor this offseason that he's going to play safety opposite Reed. "Some reporter asked me about that and then everybody on the radio asked me about that, but no coach ever asked me to play safety," Carr said. "The question was if you play for the Ravens would you be willing to play safety and I said, 'If I sign with the Ravens I would be willing to do anything they wanted me to do.' "The plans of me playing safety are definitely not in the cards right now. I'm a cornerback. I know every position so I could play any position. I have played safety in the past. That's a rumor that has gone around. The plans of me playing safety are definitely not in the cards right now. I'm a cornerback."

Besides drafting Smith, the Ravens also added University of Texas cornerback Chykie Brown in the fifth round.

"To me, it was evident that I was just as good or better than everybody that we had and they know that I know everything," Carr said. "I'm versatile. They know how well I jelled with everybody and how well I communicated with Ed Reed and with Dawan [Landry] and with all the other corners.

"I couldn't imagine them thinking that I can't do it. My confidence is sky-high. I'm not really worried about what they're thinking. It's a waiting game. I'll tell you one thing. If I don't come back, it's been great."

NOTES: The Ravens are projected to be $5.33 million under a $120 million salary cap, a figure that doesn't include roughly $10 million for their restricted free agent or the $2.5 million they could save by cutting running back Willis McGahee.

... The New York Jets hired former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore as a consultant, and the New York Post reported that the Ravens were interested in the veteran assistant to bolster their 22nd-ranked offense. Moore had no interest in that topic, though, telling the Post: "I don't want to talk about any of that stuff." ... The New York Jets hired former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore as a consultant, and the New York Post reported that the Ravens were interested in the veteran assistant to bolster their 22nd-ranked offense. Moore had no interest in that topic, though, telling the Post: "I don't want to talk about any of that stuff."

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