Ravens play waiting game on Brown and Salaam

OWINGS MILLS -- Neither Orlando Brown or Ephraim Salaam jumped at the Baltimore Ravens' contract offer Thursday. However, Brown's representatives at IMG were hopeful that a deal could be struck with Baltimore as soon as today.

The Ravens and Oakland Raiders reportedly lead for Brown's services with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers ranking third and fourth, respectively. Brown is seeking a $4 million signing bonus.

Brown, 33, started 13 games last season after returning from an eye injury suffered in 1999 in a penalty-flag incident while playing for the Cleveland Browns

Brown has visited the Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Buccaneers. He has reiterated several times that he prefers to remain with the Ravens partly because of the close proximity of both his parents in Washington, D.C., and his family in Maryland.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said Thursday that the team will sign whichever unrestricted free agent blocker accepts an offer sheet first.

Apparently undaunted by this message, Salaam continued his free-agent tour Thursday by visiting the Seattle Seahawks. The former Denver Broncos starter has also visited the Chicago Bears. His agent, Rocky Arcenaux, told the Chicago Tribune Salaam is seeking "starting tackle money." The average annual salary for a starting tackle is $6.01 million, according to NFL Players Association figures.

Salaam, 27, has the ability to play both left and right tackle. He allowed 4 1/2 sacks last season to Brown's 8 1/2 and committed four penalties to Brown's 10, according to Stats, Inc.
"Salaam is a young guy who comes from a system that's similar to what we do," Ravens offensive line coach Jim Colletto said. "He's probably got to learn to be a little more physical player, but he's a real athletic guy."

NOTE: The Tennessee Titans are reportedly trying to set up a visit for Anthony Wright, the unrestricted free agent quarterback who helped Baltimore win an AFC North title last season after starter Kyle Boller injured his quadriceps.


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