Ravens Still Looking


The Ravens made a trio of big moves in free agency in the past week.

Speedy cornerback Domonique Foxworth was brought in to bolster Baltimore's secondary. Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk signed a three-year deal to fill Jason Brown's vacated spot.

And Ray Lewis and the team finally agreed to terms that will allow the Hall of Fame linebacker to end his career in Baltimore.

According to general manager Ozzie Newsome, however, the Ravens are not finished.

"Oh, we're not done yet. I can tell you that," Newsome said. "We feel like we brought in two quality people and quality players, and being able to retain Ray is a bonus, but we're still working. Vince and Eric and the coaches, we're still working the phones. The phones are still hot.

"We're still trying to improve our football team because what I would like to do is have us in a position that when we go into the draft at the end of April, and whoever that player is, we can take him because he's just going to add to our football team. We're doing some things right now to make the draft just be a major plus for us, and we have no needs."

According to multiple media reports, the search continued when former Denver Broncos cornerback Karl Paymah visited the Ravens on Thursday. Team policy dictates that the Ravens will not comment on free agent visits.

A former third-round draft pick from Washington State, Paymah is a four-year veteran that posted 39 tackles and one interception last season, starting two games in place of an injured Champ Bailey.

Other positions of need could be tight end, wideout and offensive tackle.

When asked about the current state of the team during Thursday's news conference to introduce Birk as a Raven, head coach John Harbaugh called it a work in progress.

"I feel great about our football team," Harbaugh said. "But, Ozzie says this all the time, and I think it's a great thing for coaches to remember: We don't need to have our team in place until September.

"So, we're going to take every opportunity between now and September to make our team better, whether it's finding better players, improving the way we coach and getting out there and practicing great."

No T.O.

Even though the Dallas Cowboys released Terrell Owens and the Ravens have a space to fill at receiver, Baltimore isn't expected to make a run at the brash but talented wideout.

Owens, 36, has a history of feuding with quarterbacks and breaking down locker rooms during previous stints with the Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh, a former Eagles assistant  who has first-hand experience with Owens on the same team, is a constant proponent of chemistry and a team-first attitude.

In 2004, the Ravens sought to add T.O. in a trade with the 49ers after a filing error from Owens' agent prevented him from becoming a free agent. Owens successfully fought the trade through an NFLPA grievance and landed in Philadelphia.

Newsome declined to comment yesterday because the release had yet to become official.

"There's a process that has to happen as far as the waiver wire, so you can never talk about a player that is still a member of another member club," he said during the press conference.


The Contra Costa Times reported that former Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller met with Oakland Raiders officials. … Birk is a proponent for Gridiron Greats, which aids former NFL players in financial and medical need. Last year, he donated $50,000 of his own money and implored other NFL players to donate through a hand-written letter he sent to everyone in the league. He pointed to his rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings in 1987 when he played with guys that were in the league during the strike-shortened 1987 season. "Some of those guys from '87 said, 'It hasn't always been like this," he said. "You need to realize the price that was paid.' You think about guys striking and going out there with families. They weren't making the money we make today, but they were willing to forgo their income to fight for better rights for players. A lot of those benefits, a lot of those players that walked the line, they never saw [the money]. It was a very selfless thing that they did. I just feel like it's the right thing to do." …

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