The Baltimore Ravens and Lewis' agent, Roosevelt Barnes, have arranged for a press conference to announce the signing. This contract extension basically ensures that Ray Lewis, one of the top five players in football, and the top defensive player in the game, remains a Raven for life.
The $19 million signing bonus that will be awarded to Lewis is the highest bonus bestowed to any one player in NFL history. Before Lewis' new deal was completed, Randy Moss had received a bonus worth $18 million, and Ty Law had received a bonus worth $17 million.
There has been no clarification as to what kind of contract this is. But the thinking here is, Lewis' new deal is a seven-year extension, not a restructure. As such, Lewis' signing bonus would prorate to a figure of $2.71 million per season. That bonus, along with a base salary worth $500,000 would become Lewis' new base salary. The Ravens would in addition save $1.54 million in cap space.
That would also mean that Lewis' new contract is basically worth $8.28 million on average. However, the all-important specifics of how the base salaries are divided up are still not available.
The Ravens were also working on a contract extension for their other star linebacker, Peter Boulware, as of yesterday. However, the Ravens are still far apart on reaching an agreement with Boulware because they don't want to pay Boulware a bonus worth more than $9-$10 million. Roosevelt Barnes, who represents both Lewis and Boulware, has stated that he believes Boulware deserves as much as compensation as Dolphins' defensive end Jason Taylor. Taylor received a bonus worth $9 million, in addition to a base total of $42 million.
The Ravens are also hopeful to use their cap savings to re-sign Sam Adams to a multi-year deal. Aaron Wilson from Raven Insider has reported that Adams has significantly lowered his demands to a deal worth $2-$3 million on average, and a bonus perhaps worth $4 million.