OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens' backfield in motion may have identified a candidate to fill the vacancy created by Ovie Mughelli signing the richest fullback in NFL history with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Ravens have been talking with the agent for Detroit Lions veteran free agent fullback Cory Schlesinger, a rugged lead blocker who has 12 seasons under his belt in the league.
Schlesinger's representative is scheduled to talk again with team officials today to further gauge their level of interest. No visit has been scheduled and no signing is imminent.
"We're going to see if it's a fit," Joe Linta, Schlesinger's agent, said Sunday afternoon.
After deciding not to match Mughelli's five-year, $18 million deal that included a $5 million signing bonus, the Ravens are seeking a replacement and Schlesinger could potentially fill that void.
The 6-foot, 247-pounder has paved the way for several 1,000-yard rushers, including Barry Sanders. In 181 career games and 87 starts, the former University of Nebraska standout has rushed for 473 yards and five touchdowns while catching 197 passes for 1,445 yards and nine touchdowns.
He was deemphasized, though, last season in the Lions' offense with the arrival of pass-oriented offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
There was no apparent advancement Sunday in ongoing negotiations with the agent for former Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis, whom Baltimore cut last week rather than pay him a $5 million roster bonus. The prospective deal is likely to be a one-year arrangement laden with incentives.
The Ravens remain focused on trying to sign Lewis rather than explore other free agent options like Corey Dillon and Chris Brown, whose agents have been lobbying Baltimore team officials in case negotiations break down with Lewis.
Lewis, who rushed for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns last season, prefers to return to Baltimore, according to his agent, Mitch Frankel. Lewis is recovering well from minor surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle following the team's playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Meanwhile, rumors that the Ravens are looking into a potential trade for disgruntled Buffalo Bills runner Willis McGahee, remain only rumors. McGahee is reportedly a target for the Denver Broncos and New York Giants.
The former University of Miami star has one season remaining on his current contract, and agent Drew Rosenhaus would likely push for a lucrative long-term deal with a new team.
The Ravens' tight salary-cap situation, shrunk further by signing linebacker Jarret Johnson to a three-year $13 million deal and retaining every restricted and exclusive-rights free agent, was likely cut in half by those moves.
The Ravens entered the veteran signing period roughly $11.3 million under the league limit of $109 million.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland
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