"We're still in the process of making that decision," Newsome said.
The NFL has a Feb. 23 deadline to make franchise
Retaining Lewis would require a one-year franchise tender of roughly $6 million. Not franchising Lewis would boost an already potentially rich free agent market of NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander and Indianapolis Colts All-Pro Edgerrin James.
It appears unlikely that Lewis will receive a long-term contract extension prior to free agency. His six-year rookie contract worth $35.5 million has expired.
Lewis is coming off a career-low 906-yard rushing season that followed ankle surgery and four months in a federal prison after a plea bargain in a federal cocaine conspiracy case.
The Ravens could franchise Lewis and then possibly trade him. The NFL rumor mill has speculated about a potential swap with the Minnesota Vikings for quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
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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