Suggs unconcerned about contract talks

Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who's heading into the final year of his rookie contract, said he's not worried about ongoing negotiations for a potential contract extension and wants to remain in Baltimore. "I'm a football player," Suggs said as the Ravens began a mandatory minicamp Tuesday. "I let my agent handle all that. I'm not worried about it."

Suggs triggered an escalator clause in his contract that boosted his 2007 salary to $5 million by registering his 40th career sack in the regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills last season.

The Ravens have been negotiating with Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, since shortly before the draft in April.

Under a long-term contract, Suggs could command in excess of $20 million in guaranteed money. Suggs, 24, had 86 tackles last season along with 9 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

CLAYTON ABSENT: Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton phoned team officials Tuesday morning to inform them he wouldn't attend practice due to an undisclosed personal reason.
"He had something going on," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I'm not sure what that was."

LINEUP SHUFFLE: Chris Chester lined up with the first team at right guard, bumping returning starter Keydrick Vincent to the second team at left guard.

Chester is expected to compete with veteran Mike Flynn for the center job, but could also contend with Vincent and first-round pick Ben Grubbs at right guard.

"I'm not worried about it," Vincent said. "Competition is part of the game."

SIDELINED: All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden attended practice, but didn't participate in drills as he continues to recover from a toe injury. Ogden appears to have lost some weight.

Cornerback David Pittman is out with a nagging strained hamstring that's likely to keep him out for the remainder of the minicamp schedule. A third-round pick last year, Pittman didn't appear in any games last season and has drawn criticism in the past for his work habits.

Outside linebacker Dan Cody remains out with a hyperextended knee that will likely sideline him until training camp. Cody reiterated that he has a microfracture with a loose piece of cartilage that prevents him from running, a condition that could possibly require surgery.

Cody said he probably won't know until July if he'll need a surgical procedure that would require four months of recovery time. It's his third knee injury in the past three seasons.

QUICK HITS: Billick has grown another gray beard. "My wife likes it," he said. "Deal with it."

Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage, a former Baltimore director of player personnel, hired former Ravens West Coast area scout Daniel Jeremiah to work in the Browns' scouting department. Jeremiah worked for Baltimore until after the draft, becoming the third member of the Ravens' personnel department to join Savage in Cleveland, including T.J. McCreight and Chisom Opara.

The Ravens added Grand Valley State defensive tackle Keyonta Marshall (6-foot-1, 330 pounds) to the roster.

Wide receiver Derrick Mason (finger) returned to practice along with receiver Clarence Moore and running back P. J. Daniels, who missed time last week with unspecified injuries.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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