Billick frustrated with Clayton holdout

WESTMINSTER -- Frustrated by the glacial pace in the Mark Clayton negotiations, Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick continues to rail away at the absence of his prize first-round draft pick. The wide receiver's holdout has lasted four days and eight practices despite the fact that the picks above and below him having agreed to terms.

Why can't the Ravens and Clayton find a common ground?

"It's a legitimate question, because I have the same one," Billick said Thursday morning in Westminster. "The parameters are set. Take No. 21, take 23, add them together and cut it in half. Anything beyond that is just hard to understand."

Under the NFL slotting principle, Clayton should receive a five-year, $8.1 million contract.

The No. 21 pick – Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Matt   Jones – signed for five years and $8.45 million. And the No. 23 pick – Oakland Raiders cornerback Fabian Washington – signed for five years and $7.8 million.

Doing Billick's math equation, Clayton's contract should be worth exactly $8.125 million.

Clayton's agent, Ben Dogra, reported "slower progress at this time," in an e-mail, adding, "It will be completed when it makes sense for both sides."

The Ravens have an unwanted tradition of holdouts, as this is their fourth consecutive year with a rookie missing time because of a contract dispute.

When asked if the offer will increase, Billick replied sharply: "It never has, it never will. It didn't with Kyle Boller. It didn't with Peter Boulware. It hasn't with anyone else, however they want to project it. You either want to be here or you don't."

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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