Le'Ron McClain wants a long-term deal

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain has begun an enthusiastic campaign on his Twitter account. It's called: McClain for running back. However, it's not an elected position and McClain is content blocking for Pro Bowl runner Ray Rice.

He just wants to be involved in the offense beyond his role as a human battering ram.

He also wants a long-term contract.

That's why McClain said he has yet to apply his signature to his one-year, $2.396 million first-round restricted tender offer. At this point, there's no movement toward launching contract talks.

"I just really want to see how everything goes around here," McClain said. "It's just quiet and I have the tender over my head."

If the Ravens wanted to play hardball, they could lower restricted tender offers if McClain or his fellow unsigned restricted free agents (wide receiver Mark Clayton, punter Sam Koch, safety Dawan Landry, offensive tackle Jared Gaither and cornerback Fabian Washington) don't sign by a June 15 NFL deadline.

The amount would be roughly 10 percent above their 2009 base salaries.

That's unlikely to happen, though, as all of the players have reported for workouts and aren't threatening holdouts like the Cleveland Browns' restricted free agents. With the restricted free agent signing period over, there's essentially no leverage for restricted free agents.

From McClain's standpoint, he wants to remain a Ravens for many years to come.

"I love Baltimore," McClain said. "I want to be in Baltimore. I made this my home. I got an incredible running back in Ray Rice and a great offensive line. I don't want to be anywhere else."

The 6-foot, 260-pounder made the Pro Bowl for the second time last season, paving a path for Rice. He also rushed for 180 yards and two touchdowns one season removed from gaining a career-high 902 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns.

Listed at 6-foot, 260 pounds, the burly lead blocker said he's in better shape than usual for this time of year.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "This is probably the best I've felt in the offseason. I'm just looking to expand my role, get some carries and show them I still want to do that. McClain for running back!"

As the father of a two-year-old girl named Alex, McClain remains grounded and motivated to provide for his family.

He has a large tattoo of her image emblazoned on his chest.

"Every time I wake up I think about working hard for her and my mom," McClain said. "All the stuff my mom did for me, I want to give back to her. She raised me to be the man I am today. I've got to support my daughter. I'm not just working for me."

NOTE: The Ravens have retained five exclusive rights players with qualifying offers, including starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

Ellerbe started three games as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia, recording 41 tackles and one interception. He returned that interception 28 yards against the Oakland Raiders.

The Ravens also got signed qualifying offers from defensive tackle Kelly Talavou, wide receiver Justin Harper and defensive backs Cary Williams and K.J. Gerard.

Williams is a contender for nickel back duties who has gotten a long look at offseason minicamps.


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