I was in Baltimore today and left with two impressions: 1) The club will try to keep linebacker Ray Lewis but will not franchise him and 2) it will not try to retain cornerback Chris McAlister. Lewis becomes a free agent in March, and owner Steve Bisciotti made it clear he wants to keep the guy. But, as he said later, it will not be a long-term deal. The Ravens believe Lewis has three to four years of football left and would like to retain him. But they will not get into a bidding war, with Bisciotti saying he hoped to get a "hometown discount" like New England gained when it re-signed Tom Brady. Trust me, the Ravens will not consider protecting Lewis with the franchise tag; if anyone gets that it will be linebacker Terrell Suggs. He, Lewis and linebacker Bart Scott all become free agents. McAlister is under contract, but both sides would welcome his departure. He didn't see eye to eye with coach John Harbaugh this season, was benched before he was put on injured reserve and was not at games or in the locker room afterward. "A good man and a good player" was how Harbaugh characterized him Wednesday. He said nothing about wanting to keep him ... which he won't. Loook for McAlister to be cut.
Ravens will try to keep Lewis; not so McAlister
Posted on: January 21, 2009 9:38 pm