Ravens agree to terms with F. Walker

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms with Green Bay Packers free agent cornerback Frank Walker, adding depth to the secondary with a two-year, $3.5 million offer sheet. The Ravens didn't confirm the transaction Thursday because Walker hadn't taken a physical, a requirement before signing an NFL contract.

Walker is expected to arrive at the Ravens' training complex today to finalize the deal.

"Yes, we have a deal," said Harold Lewis, Walker's agent. "He's flying out and will be there on Friday."

The 5-foot-11, 196-pound, sixth-year pro is regarded as a backup who will compete for playing time in the defense's nickel and dime substitution packages.

Walker, 26, played in a dozen games last season for the Packers after signing a one-year, $1.24 million contract following four seasons with the New York Giants.

In Green Bay last season, Walker saw the majority of his duty as a dime back playing behind starting cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris. He recorded 17 tackles with one pass deflection last year.

Walker complained about being deactivated for an NFC title game loss to the Giants.

Originally a sixth-round pick in 2003 out of Tuskegee (Ala.), Walker has 83 career tackles, five interceptions and one forced fumble in nine career starts. He has a 33-yard return average, including one 56-yard return for a touchdown as a rookie.

Walker is also an experienced outside gunner on punt coverage.

Meanwhile, Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle's restructured contract now carries a reduced base salary of $1.4 million, down $2.5 million from an originally scheduled $3.9 million salary. Under the terms of his modified deal, Rolle said that he can still earn the entire $3.9 million through playing-time incentives.

The Ravens altered the contract to protect themselves financially in case Rolle misses a significant amount of time because of epilepsy. He remains under contract for three more years with base salaries of $4.1 million apiece in 2009 and 2010.

"The Ravens were very fair to me," said Rolle, who has been cleared to play next season by team doctors after being limited to five starts last season. "I totally understood why they wanted to do that. I'm not worried about it at all."

Rolle signed a six-year, $30.5 million contract in 2005 that included $11 million in guaranteed money.

NOTES: Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden reiterated that he's leaning toward retirement, adding that the Ravens are aware of his plans.

"It's just frustrating, because I couldn't play, especially this last year, at the level that I'm used to playing at, and that kind of irritates me," Ogden told Las Vegas reporters. "I'm a perfectionist out there on the football field, and that's kind of why I'm leaning toward retiring.

"I have not officially retired, but ... the Ravens know to proceed with their offseason plans as if I'm retiring. So if I come back, it's great, they said, but they're proceeding as if I'm not."

Ogden was limited to 10 starts last season due to a painful turf toe injury, an ailment that still hasn't healed.

"I taped it up the other day when I went running," Ogden said. "It just hasn't healed 100 percent, and I don't know if it will. The doctor's still not sure.

"I can still play, but ... I don't want to play if I can't play at the level I'm capable of playing at." ...

Tight end Daniel Wilcox is sponsoring and presenting awards at the annual Baltimore Bee, a spelling competition where students compete to represent Baltimore at the Scripps national spelling bee.

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


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