Ravens still have three more picks to sign

Ed Reed is maintaining his confident stance that he won't become a holdout despite the apparent stall in his contract negotiations. In an interview Wednesday night, the first-round pick and All-American safety said he remains optimistic that his agents will reach an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens before players report for training camp this evening in Westminster. Reed was selected 24th overall by Baltimore after helping the Miami Hurricanes win the national championship last season.

"It's not done yet, but everything is going good," said Reed from Miami, Fla. "Actually, we're right on schedule. We're waiting to get a proposal back from Baltimore. It seems like I'll be ready to go.

 "I'm just waiting. Hopefully, everything will be taken care of. I don't want to get behind by missing any workouts. This is the business part of football."

The Ravens came to terms Wednesday with quarterback Wes Pate, their seventh-round pick from Stephen F. Austin, but are still trying to reach accords with three more draft picks. Besides Reed, defensive lineman Anthony Weaver (second round, Notre Dame) and wide receiver Javin Hunter (sixth round, Notre Dame) are also unsigned.

Pate agreed in principle to a three-year contract with a total worth of $934,000 with minimum base salaries of $225,000 in 2002, $300,000 in 2003 and $380,000 in 2004. As the 236th overall selection, Pate received a signing bonus of $29,000.

 New England Patriots rookie running back Antwoine Womack, the 237th pick, received a signing bonus of $30,000 for a four-year total of $1.389 million. Washington Redskins rookie defensive end Greg Scott, the 234th pick, got a signing bonus of $30,000 for a three-year deal totaling $935,000.

"Wes is a machine," McElroy said of Pate, who is slated for third-string quarterback duties behind starter Chris Redman and backup Jeff Blake. "Wes' whole life is football. That's his mentality. He's excited.

"Sometimes, you're sorry that a team drafted your player in the seventh round because they're drafting a player off a grade, not versus a need and you have no chance. The Ravens definitely drafted off of need. Obviously, this is a good situation for Wes."

Pate threw for 6,207 career yards and 51 touchdowns. He completed 59.2 percent of his passes last season, when he passed for 2,626 yards and 19 touchdowns.

As for Reed, the two defensive players drafted directly in front of him have agreed to terms, which could make slotting his salary an easier proposition.

Oakland Raiders rookie linebacker Napoleon Harris, the 23rd overall selection, reportedly received a signing bonus of $3 million with base salaries of $470,000 in 2002, $587,000 in 2003, $705,000 in 2004, $822,500 in 2005, $940,000 in 2006 and $1.057 million in 2007. Voidable deals and buyout options were included in the package.

According to reports, New York Jets rookie defensive end Bryan Thomas, the 22nd overall choice, signed a five-year contract for $6.696 million. That included a signing bonus of $1.10 million with base salaries of $820,000 in 2002, $300,000 in 2003 plus a $2.90 million option bonus, $450,000 in 2004, $581,000 in 2005 and $545,000 in 2006.

Reed's agents, Jeff Moorad and Leigh Steinberg, have been given instructions by their client to avoid a holdout situation, but not exactly at all costs.

"Honestly, I have no clue when we'll finish it up, but it should be real soon," said Reed, who intercepted a school-record 21 passes with 289 tackles and 54 pass deflections in four seasons. "I think my agents are going to do a good job. They understand me.

"They know I don't want to be out of camp. At the same time, they want to get me a good deal."

Notes: The Ravens released running back Morgan Kane and long snapper Mike Kraemer while making multiple additions to their roster one day before players will report for tonight's meeting at the team hotel. Practice begins Friday morning.

The Ravens claimed rookie offensive guard Mike Collins (6-foot-6, 318, Wake Forest) off of waivers from the Chicago Bears, and the club signed these undrafted free agents: fullback Marvin Brown (6-0, 252, Alabama), offensive guard Lance Clelland (6-4, 315, Northwestern), Chonn Lacey (6-0, 217, Temple), wide receiver Marc Lester (6-4, 200, Morgan State), offensive tackle Dave Pruce (6-7, 286, Buffalo) and offensive guard Jim Jones (6-3, 307, Notre Dame). Pruce and Jones were cut by the Ravens during last year's camp.

Also, the Ravens signed linebacker Casey Tisdale (6-3, 251, New Mexico) who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He has stints with NFL Europe and spent time on the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad last year.


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