No progress on Suggs, Boller; Sapp headed to camp

OWINGS MILLS - On the eve of the Baltimore Ravens reporting for training camp in Westminster no progress was reported regarding contract talks for top rookie draft picks Terrell Suggs and Kyle Boller. The pair of first-round selections remained at impasses Saturday night after the exchange of proposed terms throughout the week. Holdouts could be imminent as players check into the team hotel Sunday in preparation for Monday's first practice at McDaniel College.

Meanwhile, sixth-rounder Gerome Sapp's three-year deal is almost finalized for roughly $982,250. The safety from Notre Dame said he'll be on the first flight to Baltimore on Sunday morning out of South Bend, Ind.

As for Boller, there's a major gap on the issues of signing bonus and escalator clauses, according to the quarterback's agent, Mike Sullivan.

In the case of Suggs, an outside linebacker drafted 10th overall after setting an NCAA mark for sacks with 24 last fall at Arizona State, the stall may hinge on a difference of opinion on slotting him.

Suggs' deal is likely to eventually fall between pacts signed by Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams (No. 9) and Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant (No. 11).

Only Williams reportedly signed a rather rich deal that could be worth as much as $12.5 million, including a split signing bonus totaling $8 million.

Time expired on Minnesota during trade talks with Baltimore about the seventh pick. The Vikings didn't turn in Williams' name until No. 9 and were highly motivated to avoid a repeat of last year's holdout of first-rounder Bryant McKinnie. Williams' bonuses are well over the $2.896 million and $3.69 million given to the Jaguars' John Henderson (No. 9 last year) on a five-year deal worth $10.23 million.

Trufant's split bonuses reportedly add up to $7.5 million on a deal that could pay up as much as $9.4 million to $10.16 million.

Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones (No. 10 in 2002) signed a five-year deal worth $8.475 million with a $4.05 million signing bonus.

Earlier this week, Sullivan said the Ravens declined to mirror Jets quarterback Chad Pennington's deal as the 18th overall pick in 2000 for Boller, or include escalator clauses akin to what Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey received as last year's 32nd overall choice.

According to NFL Players Association figures, Pennington signed a five-year contract for nearly $6.5 million that could pay him up to $23 million.

Pennington was supposed to make $385,000 this year, but could make $5.2 million in salary by taking the majority of the snaps and hitting incentives.

Ramsey signed a five-year deal for $5.7 million with escalators that could boost it to nearly $15 million. Denver Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie (No. 19 last year) received a $3.3 million signing bonus.

Safety Ed Reed held out as the Raven's first-round pick last year.

"It will go the 11th hour," Ravens coach Brian Billick predicted earlier this week on whether Boller and Suggs will report on time. "Many times, you go into camp waiting those last couple of hours seeing who's going to be there."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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