McAlister's contract worth $55 million

OWINGS MILLS - Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister's new seven-year contract is worth nearly $55 million in bonus money and base salaries, according to NFL Players Association documents and published reports.

The Pro Bowl cornerback reportedly received a $10 million signing bonus and is due a $7.5 million option bonus in 2005. His total base salaries, according to the players' union database, equal $36 million.

McAlister's base salaries in 2004 and 2005 are $535,000 and $965,000, respectively. The 1999 first-round draft pick's base salaries increase considerably beginning in 2006 when he's scheduled to earn $5.5 million.

His base salary in 2006 is $6.5 million with base salaries of $8 million annually in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Mitch Frankel, McAlister's agent, declined to discuss the specifics of the contract.

McAlister, 27, was slated to earn $7.1 million as the team's franchise player, and earned $420,000 per game check before signing the new deal a week ago. He earned $5.962 million as the team's franchise player in 2003.

Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey signed a seven-year contract worth $63 million that included an $18 million signing bonus that made him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.

McAlister intercepted three passes in 2003. He ranks fifth on the defense in tackles with 26 this season and returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. NOTE: The Ravens' passing game ranks last in the league, averaging 116.4 yards per contest. And second-year quarterback Kyle Boller ranks 30th among NFL passers with a 61.3 passer rating with two touchdowns and five interceptions.

CBS analyst Shannon Sharpe, a former Ravens tight end, singled out Boller and the offense for sharp criticism in his column on the league's official Web site.

"It makes me sad to say it, but the Steelers are the class of the AFC North," Sharpe wrote. "Baltimore's defense is good, but the offense just plain stinks. Kyle Boller is not the answer.

"And don't give me that nonsense that we didn't have a great offense when I was there either with Trent Dilfer at quarterback. The only thing Dilfer and Boller have in common is that they were both first-round picks. After that, the comparisons should end!"

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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