Ravens increase offer to Scott

OWINGS MILLS -- Although no deal is believed to be imminent between the Baltimore Ravens and inside linebacker Bart Scott, his agent said Tuesday night that progress has been made as the team has increased its contract offer to the unrestricted free agent.

During ongoing negotiations with Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, the team has raised its financial proposal to Scott at least twice, according to Harold Lewis, Scott's agent.

"I feel like we've made some progress, but we're not there yet," Lewis said. "Anytime you go north, you're headed in the right direction. That's good, but we're just not there yet."

The possibility appears to be increasing that Scott, 28, could wind up re-signing with the Ravens and taking All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis' spot.

Especially if Lewis is determined to test free agency for the first time since being drafted in the first round as one of the Raven' inaugural draft picks 13 years ago.

Scott could also be pursued heavily in free agency by several teams including the New York Jets, which might drive up his asking price.

"I don't put anything down as concrete until my name is signed on the dotted line," Scott said Monday during a radio interview with FOX 1370-AM. "Hopefully, we can get something done. It would be a unique thing for an 18th round slappy to start and end his career in one spot.

"I've still got a lot to learn and a lot to prove. I have yet to hit my peak yet. I hope to hit stride and show what I can do in the next few years."

A former undrafted free agent from Southern Illinois, Scott ranked second on the team in tackles last season.

In 2005, he started 10 games at middle linebacker when Lewis was sidelined with a hamstring injury and recorded 92 tackles and four sacks.

In 2006, Scott was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate after registering 135 tackles and leading all NFL inside linebackers with 9 1/2 sacks.

Now, Scott may unexpectedly be re-signed by the Ravens after it was widely assumed that he wasn't going to be back.

"I thought I was the odd man out a month ago, I've always been the dark horse," Scott said. "It doesn't offend me. I can handle it either way.

"If we're all together with me and Ray both staying, that will be great. Eventually, Ray won't be here and that will be a sad day. But it's not like I'm going to retire if Ray's gone."


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