Jamal Lewis will stay in Baltimore

OWINGS MILLS -- In a surprising and dramatic turnaround, running back Jamal Lewis returned to the Baltimore Ravens with a three-year agreement in principle after declining an earlier contract offer and watching the Ravens sign former Denver Broncos standout Mike Anderson as a potential replacement.

In fact, Lewis was planning to visit the Denver Broncos today before changing his mind and deciding to re-sign with Baltimore.

The 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year slumped to a career-low 906 rushing yards last season after serving four months in a federal prison for a cocaine conspiracy case and undergoing ankle surgery. He repeatedly complained about a lack of communication with Ravens coach Brian Billick and a reduced workload.

Now, the question becomes: How will the Ravens divide duties between Lewis and Anderson and who will catch the football out of the backfield?

Both are power runners with Lewis standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 245 pounds and Anderson, a former Marine, who's a study 6-foot, 230 pounds.

"We are so excited to have Jamal back," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "If you look at his history, he always rebounds in a big way from adversity. He had a tough 2005 that started with his surgery, his incarceration and then dealing with all of the turmoil during the season with the contract hanging over his head. We expect big things from him."

Lewis' six-year, $35.5 million contract expired after the season and the Ravens declined to assign him a $6 million franchise tender, citing concerns about potential tension with Lewis due to the restrictive nature of the tag.

Notably, a franchise tender does not include a signing bonus.

Lewis was scheduled to speak to Baltimore reporters in a late afternoon conference call. He is training in Atlanta with Ravens tight end Daniel Wilcox and former Ravens backup Chester Taylor, who signed a $14.1 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Ravens are going to hold a press conference today at the training complex for linebacker Bart Scott, who re-signed with Baltimore for a three-year contract worth $13.5 million that includes a $6.5 million signing bonus.

Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan will attend the press conference and new running backs coach Tony Nathan is scheduled to comment on Anderson and Lewis.

Terms of Lewis' contract weren't immediately available as his agent, Mitch Frankel, was traveling. It's believed that his signing bonus will be a hefty one.

Lewis was interested in the Arizona Cardinals, but saw that opportunity evaporate once Edgerrin James signed a $30 million contract on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Baltimore will introduce Anderson (four years, $8 million $2 million signing bonus), four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce (five years, $25 million) and defensive tackle Justin Bannan (four years, $3 million signing bonus) at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

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

If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on RavensInsider.Com

Ravens Insider Top Stories