Baltimore Ravens Team Notes

Mark Clayton's first minicamp began with a sprint and ended with a limp. The Ravens first-round draft pick had a strong start spoiled with a strained left hamstring, which forced him to miss the final two practices of rookie minicamp.

The highly touted wide receiver out of Oklahoma injured himself midway through the first non-contact workout, which he failed to finish, and was held out the final day as a precautionary measure. He is expected to participate in the Ravens' first passing camp in mid-May.

"Coming in, you want to do so good that you work out hard because you want to impress the coaches," said Clayton, who had the upper part of his left leg wrapped. "I wanted to show them I was capable of making plays and being consistent. It just strains your legs."

Clayton still made a strong impression in his limited action, catching every pass within his grasp. He even looked sharp going down with an injury.

"It was a double move, and it looked good," Clayton said. "Then I felt something and slowed down."

Clayton is one of three first-round picks to go down with injuries in their first practice. Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam Jones (undisclosed) and Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Matt   Jones (hamstring) all missed time.

"It's tough on these kids," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "They finish their season, travel to banquets, go to the combine and fly all over the country to visit teams. That interrupts your workout routine. That's something that you have to account for."

The Ravens had Clayton among their top 10 prospects and proved their commitment to him by rejecting several trade offers when they were on the clock.

Both the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles called -- twice, then three times -- trying to pry the pick away from the Ravens.

"We kept saying, 'We're picking, we're picking,'" said Eric DeCosta, the team's director of college scouting. "We weren't listening."

The first minicamp was also a struggle at times for Dan Cody, the Ravens' second-round pick. The Ravens are trying to convert the college defensive end into an outside linebacker. The biggest part of the transition is having him drop back into pass coverage.

Team officials know playing in space will be an obstacle for Cody, who looked less than stellar in man coverage drills. For now, Cody will primarily play as a rush end in passing situations and back up Adalius Thomas as the strong-side linebacker.

NOTES
--Before the Ravens' rookie minicamp, coach Brian Billick said 50 of the 53 roster spots are locked up.

But that does not mean a lesser-known rookie cannot shatter expectations. The easiest way to do that is the route return specialist B.J. Sams paved last year. Sams was an undrafted rookie.

"Special teams is the first way for a low-drafted or rookie free agent to impact the team," Billick said. "Or like a B.J. Sams, have a particular role or expertise in something that makes you noticeable."

--In the rookie minicamp, the Ravens' second round picks went head to head, with offensive tackle Adam Terry going against pass rusher Dan Cody.

The first go-around went to Terry, who steered the bull-rushing Cody to the outside. Although the practices were noncontact, the action became physical between the two.

"We're both still young, and I think he's a great player," Terry said. "We'll just keep working. That's our main thing right now. Everybody's still working and just fighting for a spot."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--OT Ethan Brooks is an adequate backup who will be asked to return as insurance for an aging Orlando Brown.
--K Wade Richey probably won't be coming back after inconsistency on kickoffs led him to being inactive for parts of the season.
--CB Deion Sanders would be welcomed back if he chooses to continue playing at age 38.
--LB T.J. Slaughter would seem to fit into the Ravens' plans as a starter at inside linebacker next season.
--QB Kordell Stewart could come back as the No. 3 quarterback if he doesn't receive offers to be the top backup elsewhere.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--WR Randy Hymes (tendered at $656,000) is an athletic target who lacks speed to consistently separate from defenders. Will compete for the No. 3 receiver job.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
--KR/PR B.J. Sams (tendered at $305,000) made a strong impact on the Ravens' return game before hitting the rookie wall in the final six weeks of the season.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--FS Will Demps: RFA; $1.43M/1 yr.
--TE Darnell Dinkins: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--TE Terry Jones: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--NT Ma'ake Kemoeatu: RFA; $1.43M/1 yr.
--LS Joe Maese: UFA; $1.185M/2 yrs, $100,000 SB.
--OG Brian Rimpf: ERFA; $230,000/1 yr.
--RB Chester Taylor: RFA/matched Browns offer; $3/1 yr, $1M SB.
--TE Daniel Wilcox: ERFA; $380,000/1 yr.
--LB Bart Scott: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--S Chad Williams: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--P Dave Zastudil: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.
--DT Matt Zielinski: ERFA; $305,000/1 yr.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--WR Pat Johnson: FA; terms unknown.
--WR Derrick Mason: FA Titans; $20M/5 yrs, $7M SB.
--LB Jim Nelson: UFA Colts; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Tommy Polley: UFA Rams; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--CB Samari Rolle: FA Titans; $30.5M/6 yrs, $11M SB.
--OG Keydrick Vincent: UFA Steelers; $4.64M/3 yrs, $1.25M SB.
PLAYERS LOST
--OG Bennie Anderson: UFA Vikings; $5.1M/3 yrs $1.5M SB.
--CB Gary Baxter: UFA Browns; $30.5M/6 yrs, $10.5M SB.
--DE Marques Douglas: UFA 49ers; $4.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--DB Corey Fuller (released).
--LB Ed Hartwell: UFA Falcons; $26.25M/6 yrs, $8M bonuses.
--WR Kevin Johnson (released).
--FB Harold Morrow (released).
--C Casey Rabach: UFA Redskins; $13.75/5 yrs, $2.5M SB.
--WR Travis Taylor: UFA Vikings; $2M/2 yrs, SB unknown.
--CB Ray Walls: UFA Cardinals; terms unknown.
--RB Jamel White: UFA Lions; terms unknown.


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