J. Lewis' request to attend minicamp denied

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis' request to leave an Atlanta halfway house to attend the team's minicamp next week was denied by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to his lawyer.

Lewis, 25, is obligated to spend the next two months at the halfway house after being released from a federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla. Lewis sought permission to travel to Maryland for the Ravens' final minicamp to be held June 13 to June 16 at the team's training complex, and team officials submitted a supportive letter through Lewis' attorney, Jerome Froelich, citing his ongoing rehabilitation from ankle surgery and the physical demands of his job.

The 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year entered the halfway house last Friday after concluding a four-month sentence for using a cellular phone to try to set up a cocaine deal. He also must perform 500 hours of community service.

"That's just the way it is, and Jamal understands that he's like anybody else," said Froelich, who indicated that Lewis will finish his halfway house stint Aug. 1, the day the Ravens open training camp at McDaniel College. "Jamal would have loved to be able go to the minicamp, but he's going to play by the rules. He'll play by the rules they set.

"Jamal has been completely accountable, and he'll do whatever is asked of him by the halfway house."

U.S. Probation Office officials in Atlanta declined to answer questions regarding Lewis' status, and the Clerk of Courts didn't have any updates in Lewis' case file.

Froelich has informed Ravens team president Dick Cass about the decision, senior vice president of public relations Kevin Byrne said.

Lewis accepted a plea bargain in October last year in a case that stems from an investigation that began in 2000, months after the Ravens drafted him with the fifth overall pick of the first round.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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