Chester Taylor signs with Browns

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens restricted free agent running back Chester Taylor signed a $3 million offer sheet Wednesday with the Cleveland Browns.

The Ravens have seven days under league rules to decide whether they want to match a contract that includes a $2 million base salary and a $1 million signing bonus, according to NFL Players' Association figures.

If the Ravens opt not to match the offer, they would receive the Browns' sixth-round draft pick as compensation. Taylor was drafted in the sixth round out of Toledo in 2002.

The Ravens are likely to take the seven days before deciding whether they'll match the offer. Baltimore had indicated previously that they were inclined to match an offer sheet for Taylor, a valuable reserve. However, this offer likely exceeds what the Ravens were expecting to have to match.

The deal includes an incentives package where Taylor would receive an additional $100,000 if he is selected to the Pro Bowl and another $100,000 if he rushes for 1,000 yards.

The Ravens assigned Taylor the low tender of $656,000. If the Ravens had assigned Taylor the middle tender of $1.43 million with first-round draft pick compensation, as they did for safety Will Demps and defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu, it would have been less expensive to retain him based on this offer sheet.

Taylor is a versatile, durable backup to Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis. Taylor gained 713 yards with two touchdowns last season while starting four games.

In 15 games last season, Taylor caught 30 passes for 184 yards to rank third on the team in receptions.

In 47 career games, Taylor has rushed for 1,112 yards and four touchdowns with 64 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns.

Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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