Reed and Weaver still unsigned as camp begins

The collective patience of rookies Ed Reed and Anthony Weaver is beyond the point of wearing thin. Sitting at home while their teammates play football is not their idea of a good time. That's the situation both of the Baltimore Ravens' top two draft picks and instant starters upon arrival find themselves in today, though, as holdouts from training camp because of unresolved contract negotiations.

Practice begins this morning at McDaniel College in Westminster, and Reed and Weaver won't be present while they wait for accords to be struck.

They would like nothing better than to board airplanes and join the team, but that won't happen, barring the unlikely scenario of injury waivers allowing them financial protection against injury while negotiations continue.

In Reed's interview Thursday night from Miami, Fla., the All-American safety and first-round pick said: "I don't really want to get into all this business stuff because I just want to play football. I wish I was already there at camp. We're waiting for a proposal back from Baltimore.

"My agent said it could get done tonight, but I really don't know what to think now. I know my agents are the best ones to get me into camp. I still think they'll get the job done."

Reed was selected 24th overall by the Ravens after helping the Miami Hurricanes win the national title last season. He is represented by agents Jeff Moorad and Leigh Steinberg.

"If I get a good deal, I'm going to get on the first flight," Reed said. "I don't care how much money it costs. I'm ready to play some football."

The Ravens did come to terms Thursday with sixth-round pick Javin Hunter, a wide receiver from Notre Dame. His agent, Peter Schaffer, negotiated a three-year contract worth $950,000 that included a signing bonus of $45,000.

Hunter caught 63 career passes for 867 yards and four touchdowns and was a walk-on for the Fighting Irish basketball team. He will receive base salaries of $225,000 in 2002, $300,000 in 2003 and $380,000 in 2004.

"I think this deal obviously took longer than expected," Schaffer said. "But due to the strong relationship built between us and the Ravens' front office over the years with Phil Savage and Ozzie Newsome, we were able to overcome the obstacles and narrow the gaps to the point where Javin was comfortable signing his name on the dotted line."

Meanwhile, Weaver, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman from Notre Dame, said he was already past tired of this waiting game. The impatience grows by the hour, the second-round pick said.

 "I want to be there and I know the Ravens know that I want to be there so badly," said Weaver, the 52nd overall selection who finished his four years in South Bend, Ind., with 160 tackles, 17 sacks, 42 tackles for losses and three interceptions. "I don't know why it's taking so long to get done, but I don't like it.

"As soon as I can get into camp and they get the contract worked out, I'm going to be a much happier person."

The four picks in front of Reed have already agreed to contracts. That should have made slotting his salary easier for the Ravens and the agents.

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 that 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.

"It's part of the business. It's unfortunate," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "This is such a young team and it's so wide open, any opportunity you want to give someone else to show that they can do your job will be greatly appreciated by that individual.

"I know they both want to be in camp and, hopefully, we can get that done."

Reed intercepted a school-record 21 passes with 289 tackles and 54 pass deflections in four seasons in South Florida.

He was adamant when he was drafted in April about avoiding a holdout situation. Now, exactly the scenario he wanted to avoid is happening.

"Everything sounds like I might be on the plane soon," Reed said. "We just don't know yet. It might happen soon. It might not.

"I have no clue what I'm doing. I know they talked a lot today. I have no clue what the holdup is."

NOTES: Billick said defensive end Michael McCrary's creaky knees and outside linebacker Peter Boulware's recent minor ankle surgery will have them on the physically unable to perform list during the early days of camp. He added that the team would be "prudent" in not exposing running back Jamal Lewis, on the mend from last season's torn anterior cruciate ligament, to dangerous contact situations with eager young players. … All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis was the first player to arrive at the team hotel, showing up in Westminster at 10 a.m. on Thursday. … Billick said there hasn't been any change in the status of Boulware and Lewis' contracts. They haven't agreed to restructured deals, meaning the club still can't sign veteran free agents to upgrade the roster. … Former Ravens starting fullback Chuck Evans is at camp on a coaching internship. He said he has no intentions of making a football comeback after dabbling in the financial world. "The stock market isn't too good right now, and I'm truly interested in coaching now, not playing again," Evans said. … The Ravens will practice in shorts and helmets until Monday, the first day of contact work.

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