Ravens Update

Jameel McClain: 'I'm staying patient' Ravens free agent linebacker still unsigned; receives charitable award from Salvation Army

Veteran free agent inside linebacker Jameel McClain remains optimistic that he can remain with the Baltimore Ravens next season.

Dialogue continues between McClain and the Ravens, but no deal has been hammered out.

"Yeah, hopefully that will happen," McClain told the Times in a telephone interview Wednesday night after arriving in Baltimore to receive a charitable award. "That's up to the powers that be and my agent to figure out that happy medium. I'm staying patient. I'm waiting for the perfect move at the perfect time. Patience is a virtue." McClain, 26, visited the Denver Broncos, but they wound up re-signing middle linebacker Joe Mays to a three years, $12 million deal and outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard to a two-year contract. "The trip was fine," said McClain, a Philadelphia native who has 209 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and three fumble recoveries in four NFL seasons after going undrafted out of Syracuse. "But Denver is pretty far from everything I know."

The market for inside linebackers is off to a slow start with Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, London Fletcher and McClain still unsigned. Among the inside linebackers who have signed contracts: Stephen Tulloch (Detroit Lions) and Dan Connor (Dallas Cowboys).

McClain registered 91 tackles two seasons ago when he first became a full-time starter. "It's just the way the market came down for inside linebackers this year," said McClain, who finished second on the team with 84 tackles last season behind Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis. "It's more for me to work harder for." McClain, whose family was homeless for a year growing up in Philadelphia, was honored Wednesday night by the Salvation Army with the first Champion of Compassion award at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore where Ravens team president Dick Cass was the keynote speaker. McClain is extremely active in the community with the Salvation Army and other charitable causes. "At the end of the day, it's not about recognition," McClain said. "If one person can change themselves for the better and do something for others, I look at it as me trying to better myself and the people around me. That's the easiest way to change the world."

Mark Anderson signs with Bills for $27.5 million

OWINGS MILLS -- One day after visiting the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots veteran free agent defensive end Mark Anderson has signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract with the Buffalo Bills.

The deal includes $8 million fully guaranteed. So, Anderson was likely too expensive for the Ravens as they don't have much salary-cap space and are hoping to strike long-term deals with quarterback Joe Flacco, franchise player and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice and cornerback Lardarius Webb.

"When you think of Buffalo you think of a nice, small blue collar town," Anderson told Buffalo reporters. "The fans are great. When I was waiting at the airport I had fans coming up to me, a lot of fans with Buffalo Bills hats. A lot of them came up to me and asked about my free agent visit.

"I thought that was amazing that they keep up with everything that goes on around the league with this organization. I just love the whole college atmosphere and I feel that it's what you need. You need that type of support in order to be successful in this league."

Anderson is the third free agent to visit the Ravens and the second to sign a lucrative deal with another team, joining Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Evan Mathis (five year, $25 million). He visited the Ravens on Tuesday before heading to Buffalo.

San Francisco 49ers free agent wide receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn has visited the Ravens as well as the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, but remains unsigned.

Anderson also visited the Tennessee Titans and the Miami Dolphins.

Anderson, 28, recorded 10 sacks and forced two fumbles last season for the Patriots.

The former Alabama standout has 35 1/2 sacks in seven career NFL seasons with 163 tackles, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Anderson excelled in the playoffs with 11 tackles and 2 ½ sacks. That included one sack against the Ravens in an AFC championship game loss at Gillette Stadium.

Anderson also forced two fumbles and recovered one with 29 tackles during the regular season. As a rookie with the Chicago Bears, Anderson recorded 12 sacks and four forced fumbles as a rookie.

The Bills previously signed defensive end Mario Williams to a $96 million contract. Williams and Anderson were teammates with the Houston Texans prior to Anderson playing for the Patriots last season.

"I knew the type of guy he was, he played a big part," Anderson said. "The whole defensive line played a big part, the coaching staff and the team. I've seen how hard the team worked last year.

"They were close. They had a few injuries along the way. Everyone seems like they're back and ready to go. I'm just happy to be part of this organization."

Ravens Insider Top Stories