Ravens still looking at Pace

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens could still wind up landing free agent offensive tackle Orlando Pace, according to general manager Ozzie Newsome.

The former St. Louis Rams starter visited the Ravens, took a physical and was offered an undisclosed contract figure, but the seven-time Pro Bowl blocker didn't jump on the deal.

Pace, 33, has since visited the Chicago Bears, who can offer him the opportunity to play his natural left tackle position.

With Jared Gaither entrenched on the left side in Baltimore, Pace would play right offensive tackle. If Pace is signed, it would probably trigger the release of veteran tackle Willie Anderson.

"Yes would be the simple answer," Newsome said Wednesday at a draft luncheon when asked if the Ravens could still sign Pace. "Yes that opportunity, it could happen. We still have some active deals going on right now. Someone could accept a deal while I'm in here talking to you all."

However, Pace has an extensive recent history of injuries.

Meanwhile, Newsome said the Ravens are involved in discussions with veteran cornerback Samari Rolle and his agent.

After asking for his freedom, Rolle was cut by Baltimore last month in a transaction that created $4.1 million in salary cap space. Since being cut, Rolle has visited the New York Jets.

Newsome and coach John Harbaugh recently met with Rolle when he came to team headquarters to take his exit physical prior to being formally released.

"When he came in and sat down and talked with us and expressed some things to us and we were able to express some things back to him, it broke a lot of barriers," Newsome said. "I know what his feelings about the Baltimore Ravens are right now based on that meeting.

"I encouraged Samari to tell the rest of his teammates and players in the NFL that it's okay to sit down with the GM and the head coach, close the door, talk man-to-man, air some things out. It works well for both parties."

It seems unlikely that Rolle would return since the Ravens have two starting cornerbacks in Fabian Washington and Domonique Foxworth as well as reserve cornerbacks Frank Walker and Chris Carr under contract.

As for the kicking position, the Ravens are high on Steve Hauschka. However, they haven't ruled out bringing back all-time leading scorer Matt Stover.

"We have Hauschka here and we got him for a reason," said Newsome, who didn't rule out drafting a kicker. "We have not removed Stover from our mind. If the situation doesn't work itself out where he ends up on another team and we get into training camp or something like that and we have no one else, we know what Matt can do and that marriage can continue."

Also, Newsome said that the Ravens haven't scheduled free agent wide receiver Torry Holt for a visit. He seemed unconcerned about wide receiver Derrick Mason's recent complaint/request for a new contract.

"As of today, Derrick Mason was working out," Newsome said, "getting himself prepared for the 2009 season."

NOTES: The Ravens don't sound inclined toward bringing back 38-year-old fullback Lorenzo Neal, who recently contacted Newsome. "I have a message on my desk from Lorenzo," Newsome said. "I don't know what the nature of that call is about. I know he did talk about what he would like to do when his football career is over. I don't know what his plans are, but I will return his phone call within the next 48 hours. I'm going to give myself a little time to do it." A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Neal recently told Ravens Insider that he would like to re-sign with Baltimore and believes he could play another season or two. ... Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins was one of the players the Ravens interviewed at the NFL scouting combine.


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