OWINGS MILLS -- Offensive guard Jason Brown is in the Baltimore Ravens' immediate and future plans.
Heading into free agency at the end of this month, the Ravens intend to retain the 6-foot-3, 320-pound restricted free agent with a one-year tender offer. However, their ultimate goal is to sign Brown to a long-term contract extension.
"We will put the proper tender on him," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Once that's done and we get into free agency, the option is there to to extend him to a long-term deal and we will talk about it."
The Ravens have four choices of compensation, all of which would grant them the right to match any competing offer sheet from another team.
They could use the low tender of $927,000 and receive a fourth-round draft pick in return for the corresponding round Brown was drafted in 2005 out of the University of North Carolina if another team signed him and the Ravens opted to not match.
Or they could use the second-round level of compensation, which costs $1.47 million.
Or the first-round compensation of $2.017 million.
Or the maximum compensation of a first-round pick and a third-round pick for $2.562 million.
Given their tight salary-cap situation, the Ravens are expected to assign Brown the second-round tender.
"I'm sure it will be the second-rounder, but I guess you could make the argument that they could use a first since he had a tremendous year," said Harold Lewis, Brown's agent. "We're very excited about eventually working out a deal with Baltimore so Jason will be a Raven for many, many years. I'm sure it will transpire.
"From talking to Ozzie, I think their ultimate goal, and they have made it very clear, is that Jason Brown is going to be a Raven. They haven't gotten into numbers with us yet. The safest bet is to put a restricted tag on him, but that only lasts for so long."
Brown started all 16 games at left guard last season after veteran Edwin Mulitalo was cut during the offseason. And he did well enough that he was named to Sports Illustrated's All-Pro team while emerging as a locker-room leader.
"He's on his way up," said Lewis, who also represents Ravens linebacker Bart Scott as he enters the final year of a three-year, $13.5 million contract. "It's a great situation in Baltimore, and Jason is excited about being a big part of it. My ultimate goal is to get him a contract that will exceed all his expectations."
NOTES: Besides Brown, the Ravens' other restricted free agents are fullback Justin Green, long snapper Matt Katula and linebacker Mike Smith. Traditionally, the Ravens keep all of their restricted free agents with the low tender. ... Former Ravens special teams coach Frank Gansz joined former Baltimore offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel's UCLA staff.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.
Jason Brown update
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