Newsome confident club will signs picks in time

OWINGS MILLS — Having already plotted a strategy, the Baltimore Ravens are implementing their plan to sign their draft picks before training camp. That includes director of football administration Pat Moriarty holding negotiations in California with agents for the club's pair of first-round picks. Moriarty met with outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, on Wednesday with a meeting set for today with Mike Sullivan, the representative for quarterback Kyle Boller.

"We've done our research," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who has 10 remaining unsigned picks. "We're thoroughly prepared to strike a deal. "We don't have to wait for the guy in front of us or the guy behind us."

Running back Larry Johnson agreed to terms Thursday with the Kansas City Chiefs, joining top overall selection Carson Palmer as the only first-round picks to consummate deals.

Suggs was drafted 10th overall. Boller, who's competing with Chris Redman for the starting quarterback position, was drafted 19th overall after the Ravens traded this year's second-round pick and next year's first-round pick to the New England Patriots.

Last season, the 10th overall pick was offensive tackle Levi Jones. He received a signing bonus of $4.05 million on a five-year contract worth $8.475 million from the Cincinnati Bengals. Wide receiver Ashley Lelie, the 19th overall selection, received a signing bonus of $3.3 million on a five-year deal for $6.7 million.

Traditionally, though, quarterbacks receive far more lucrative contracts that include incentive clauses based heavily on playing time.

Because the Ravens don't report to McDaniel College until July 27, they have more time than several clubs to negotiate.

"We don't have to worry about waiting," Newsome said. "We're ready because we feel we do fair deals. Whether the deals are done in front of us, it doesn't matter."

Both Newsome and agent Todd France said that a deal is near completion with fifth-round pick Aubrayo Franklin, a defensive lineman from Tennessee and the 146th overall pick.

"I think it could be done as soon as Friday," France said.

Last year's 146th overall pick, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, received a three-year contract worth $1.023 million, including a signing bonus of $118,000 from the Seattle Seahawks.

NOTE: Newsome said he's scheduled to meet with veteran defensive end Michael McCrary in the next three or four days before the club makes an announcement regarding his status next week.


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