McAlister's agent: Ravens not close to a deal

OWINGS MILLS -- The agent for Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister said he isn't optimistic about negotiating a multi-year contract extension before the NFL's Feb. 24 deadline for assigning the franchise tag.

McAlister earned $5.962 million last season as the team's franchise player and would receive a 20-percent increase if the team designates him again. That would mean a $7.1 million salary for next season.

"We met about a week ago and had some discussions, but at this point we're pretty far apart from reaching an agreement," said Mitch Frankel, McAlister's agent. "They haven't told me yet if they will franchise him again. In the past, they have told me.

"We'll at least talk once more before Feb. 24. We believe Chris has proven this season that he's one of the elite corners in the game and should be compensated fairly."

Frankel declined to confirm or deny reports about McAlister wanting a bonus ranging between $16 and $19 million.

If the Ravens franchise McAlister and another team signs him, they would owe the Ravens two first-round draft picks as compensation. That's an unlikely scenario, though.

"We are in active negotiations for a contract extension for Chris with Mitch," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

Frankel, who also represents running back Jamal Lewis, said he has had preliminary discussions about extending Lewis' contract, which runs for two more seasons.

"We anticipate something will happen with Jamal," Frankel said.

Aaron Wilson wroites for The Carroll County Times.

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