Ravens to meet with agents for team's free agents.

OWINGS MILLS – Besides evaluating college prospects, the Baltimore Ravens will attempt to conduct another piece of business at the NFL scouting combine.<br><br> The AFC North champions plan to negotiate face-to-face with several representatives of the team's unrestricted free agents this week in Indianapolis.

An annual convention for agents is held this week at the combine. Plus, the majority of agents that represent veteran NFL players are also in town for the convention and to supervise their rookie clients.

"A lot goes on at the combine," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "The fact that we're all there, hopefully, that can accelerate the process."

Billick said no deals are imminent for a group of unrestricted free agents that includes cornerback Chris McAlister, quarterback Anthony Wright, center Mike Flynn, defensive end Marques Douglas, wide receiver Marcus Robinson and offensive tackle Orlando Brown. The veteran free-agent signing period begins March 3.

"I'm having a lot of positive dialogue with Baltimore," said Joel Segal, Wright's agent. "We'd like to get something done sooner rather than later before free agency starts."

Jonathan Feinsod, Douglas' agent, said he looks forward to meeting with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome at the combine.

"The agents will be making their pitches," Newsome said, "and we'll be making ours."

The Ravens face a Feb. 24 deadline to assign the franchise tag and are all but certain to designate McAlister again as their franchise player, necessitating a 20-percent raise to $7.1 million.

"We'll talk once more before the deadline, but we're still far apart on a deal," said Mitch Frankel, McAlister's agent. "It's not a simple, cut-and-dry deal. There's a lot of money involved."

Robinson's agent, Ken Sarnoff, said his talks with Baltimore remain in the preliminary stage.

Newsome said the Ravens will assign the appropriate tenders to retain restricted free agents like offensive guard Bennie Anderson and linebacker Ed Hartwell along with keeping exclusive-rights free agents like safety Will Demps.

"Nothing has changed, it seems, it's always an 11th-hour type of deal," Billick said. "We're working hard at it."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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