Sanders on verge of return to NFL with Ravens

OWINGS MILLS – All indications point toward venerable former Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders ending his retirement and returning to the NFL as a nickel back this fall with the Baltimore Ravens.<br><br> Sanders, 37, is expected to make an official announcement as soon as Monday after training for the past few weeks at his Texas estate with speed coach Tom Shaw.

"I think I will be busy on Sundays," Sanders told Sporting News Radio.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said earlier this week that the team has an understanding with the seven-time Pro Bowl selection and is waiting for his final decision after a month of dialogue.

"The parameters are very clearly set," Billick said. "When he's ready to take that step, he understands what our thoughts are on it in terms of the adequate time he needs to integrate with the team. We are being respectful of the time he needs to get ready."

Sanders has been recruited by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and is also friends with cornerback Corey Fuller and safety Ed Reed. The 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year hasn't played since 2000 with the Washington Redskins, retiring before the 2001 season.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said the Ravens would find a way to fit Sanders into his game plans in tandem with Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister, the team's franchise player who's also expected to report next week, and Gary Baxter.

"A player like that comes along, we'll do what fits the player," Nolan said. "It will allow us to be more aggressive than we already are. A player like that allows you to do just about anything."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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