Ravens' McAlister to sign contract, report

OWINGS MILLS – The agent for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister said Sunday night that the franchise player will report Monday after signing his one-year, $7.1 million tender.

"He's planning on coming in, and he just wants to know that's his home for a long, long time and be compensated accordingly," said Mitch Frankel, McAlister's agent. "He would love to be a Raven for life. Hopefully, the Ravens see it that way."

McAlister, 27, skipped the entire training camp and missed the first three preseason games to express his dissatisfaction at being assigned the franchise tag for the second consecutive year. He wasn't under contract and can't be fined under league rules.

Frankel said he hopes to resume negotiations this week for a long-term contract. The last time the two parties spoke, the agent said they were far apart financially.

"I'm sure we'll talk this week and see if the Ravens have any new thoughts and see if they're willing to do a contract with Chris that's comparable to other players at his position that are of his caliber," said Frankel, who referred to Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey and Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson.

Denver gave Bailey a seven-year contract worth $63 million that included an $18 million signing bonus.

Under league guidelines, McAlister doesn't receive a signing bonus, but will earn $420,000 per game check. It's unlikely that Baltimore would franchise him again after the season because he would receive another 20-percent raise for an $8.5 million salary for 2005.

A first-round draft pick in 1999, McAlister was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season and intercepted three passes. He shut down many of the top receivers in the NFL, including Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and Torry Holt.

"Last year, Chris proved he's either the best corner in the game or one of the best corners in the game," said Frankel, adding that McAlister is in optimum condition. "He came in on time. He had a great season. He just wants to know that this is his home."

The Ravens are also expected to add retired Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders by Wednesday, according to reports that haven't been officially confirmed.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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