Ravens Choose To Stand Pat

The Ravens were bystanders during the first part of free agency, and following June 1, they will continue to be bystanders. While other teams sign free agents like Sam Adams, Antonio Freeman, and Dorsey Levens, the Ravens will continue to sit around scratching their heads. At this point, the Ravens will likely have to settle on signing any free agents that are still available after July.

The agents of Ray Lewis and Peter Boulware are not making matters any easier for the Ravens. Reportedly, the Ravens have already offered both players $31 million in bonus totals. Lewis has been offered a bonus that totals $20 million; Boulware has been offered a bonus that totals $11 million. Both players would easily be the highest paid players at their respective positions if they accepted the Ravens' offer. In Lewis' case, he'd be given the most lucrative signing bonus in NFL history.

As it stands now, both players, and agents Roosevelt Barnes and Eugene Parker are still not satisfied. The Ravens on the other hand, feel pretty insulted that Lewis and Boulware have rejected their offers. Simply put, the Ravens have drawn their line in the sand, and they're not crossing over.

"When we get to the point when we feel we have a very good deal, then I'll recommend to [Ravens' owner Art Modell] that we sign both of them," said Newsome. "We've known that it was a possibility that this negotiation could extend beyond June. While there is some frustration, it was anticipated. You can't put deadlines on when negotiations are going to be finished." "We'll go as is before I do a bad deal, because one bad deal leads to other bad deals. It just snowballs."

A power struggle between both sides seems imminent, and it could go on through training camp. Still, agent Roosevelt Barnes has assured the Ravens that both players will attend a next week's mandatory mini-camp, despite the proposition that Lewis and Boulware will be without brand new contracts.

This is not the first time that Barnes and Parker have butted heads with the Ravens. A few months back, Barnes and Parker were able to convince their client Marvin Lewis to spurn an offer made by the Ravens to stay on to be their defensive coordinator, to pursue a far more lucrative deal proposed by the Washington Redskins. The night before Lewis accepted the Redskins' offer to be their new defensive coordinator, Lewis publicly stated that he would accept the Ravens' offer to stay with them. Ultimately, Parker and Barnes convinced Lewis to renege on his promise made to the Ravens.

Shortly after the fiasco with Marvin Lewis, Barnes and Parker arranged a meeting between Ravens vice president of personnel Ozzie Newsome, and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons wanted to hire Newsome to be their general manager, but the Ravens denied the Falcons permission to speak with Newsome.

The day before March 1, the first date of free agency, the Ravens offered defensive tackle Sam Adams a multi-year deal that would pay him a $5 million bonus, and an average of $5 million per season. Adams' agents, Barnes and Parker, asked for a $10 million bonus instead, and the deal fell through. Ironically, Adams will likely receive less than, or close to, the same amount of money he rejected to accept from the Ravens.


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