Ravens to work out Sims

OWINGS MILLS -- Former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Barry Sims will work out for the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday at their training complex. Sims, 33, started every game last season and has started 119 out of 136 games during nine seasons in Oakland.

Released by the Raiders on Feb. 29, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound free agent visited the New England Patriots on Wednesday.

Sims met with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday and has a visit scheduled with the St. Louis Rams later this week. He's expected to make a decision early next week after nearly signing with the Carolina Panthers in March.

"For a guy like Barry who's got a couple of years left in him, he wants to go to a good organization that is going up, not down, and has a chance to be in the playoffs," said Ken Vierra, Sims' agent. "Baltimore is definitely in that category. I see them as a good franchise.

"These are the teams that I've had contact with fairly regularly over the last couple of months and that we're seriously considering. We didn't want to drag it out, and I think the timing is right for everybody at this point. It's a feeling-out process on both sides, and we're looking for the right fit."

Sims is capable of playing either left tackle or right tackle, which could potentially increase his value for an offensive line that has been preparing for All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden's anticipated retirement.

If Ogden retires, the Ravens have been planning to have former University of Maryland supplemental fifth-round draft pick Jared Gaither start on the left side and have Adam Terry play right tackle. If the Ravens decide to sign him, Sims could provide a boost of experience on either side.

Sims has also played left guard, but his natural position is left tackle.

"Barry's healthy and he's a guy who has been durable and played every offensive snap last year," Vierra said. "We're going to go through this week and basically evaluate each situation and they're going to evaluate him and we'll revisit things on Monday or Tuesday and make a decision. Barry's got a lot of good football left in him and this is a huge decision."

NOTE: The Ravens will hold their final passing camp today at team headquarters, also marking the last full-team workouts of the offseason under new coach John Harbaugh. The team has scheduled a rookie minicamp next week.

"It's a great dynamic, and a lot of excitement out here on the practice field, a lot of energy and that obviously stems from John," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "It's been a lot of fun. It's like being a rookie coach all over again."

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

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