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Kelly Gregg opts for new start in Kansas City

FootballBaltimore RavensContractsKelly GreggNFLKansas City Chiefs

The Ravens were interested in keeping nose tackle Kelly Gregg, but they couldn't match an offer from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gregg reportedly will earn twice as much with the Chiefs than he would have with the Ravens, who were offering him $1.5 million. The Ravens officially released Gregg on Thursday, creating $3.5 million in salary-cap room.

"Kansas City just gave him an offer that he couldn't refuse," coach John Harbaugh said. "We just wish him the best. Obviously, it's the best thing for his family financially, and we're happy for him."

Playing in Kansas City was a factor for Gregg, whose family lives in Oklahoma. Gregg's departure means Terrence Cody becomes the Ravens' starting nose tackle.

Attempts to reach Gregg were unsuccessful.

Gregg, 34, had been the Ravens' starting nose tackle for eight seasons. He had been one of the most productive interior linemen in the NFL, recording over 100 tackles in four seasons (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007).

Microfracture knee surgery sidelined him for the entire 2008 season. Gregg's tackles totals dropped to 64 in 2009 and 39 in 2010 (which was a career-low for him as a starter).

"We want Kelly here," linebacker Jarret Johnson said. "It's not the same locker room without Kelly. Sorry to lose him but glad to see him land in a good spot with a good contract."

Johnson said Gregg "kind of expected" to sign elsewhere after he was released by the Ravens.

"But I know he wanted to be here," Johnson said. "It's a tough situation."

Fiery Flacco

A few days after sounding off on critics, quarterback Joe Flacco was just as vocal with his teammates Saturday.

Flacco came right back at Ray Lewis after the inside linebacker playfully argued that a running back had been tapped down behind the line of scrimmage. "You didn't even make that tackle," Flacco yelled back a couple of times.

"Joe and Ray, maybe they'll be the spokesmen for the smack talk during practice," Harbaugh said.

No pain, all gain

The Ravens had their first full-contact practice of training camp, and no one sustained a major injury during the grueling three-hour workout.

"I think our guys have a real good foundation, conditioning-wise," Harbaugh said. "They're strong. They're flexible and they're in good shape. Transferring that to football shape is going to take a few days. But this is a big step in that direction.

"I'm proud of what they did in the offseason in terms of how they handled themselves. What they said and the kind of lives they led while they were away from football says a lot about them and who they are."

Harbaugh has given his players off Sunday because he hopes the rules will allow restricted and exclusive-rights free agents to practice Monday. The Ravens have scheduled another full-contact practice Monday.

Rough initiation

Jah Reid knows nothing will be tougher than his first day in the NFL. On Thursday, the third-round pick signed his contract an hour into the first practice of camp, passed his conditioning test and jumped into working with the first team.

"It was kind of trial by fire — you know, sink or swim," said Reid, who stands 6 feet 7, 330 pounds. "I just have to absorb everything I can and take my licks and learn from it. There are a lot of good people out there, so eventually I'll improve. But right now, it's a learning experience."

Reid is competing for the starting job against Oniel Cousins and Ramon Harewood (who is currently on the physically unable to perform list).

End zone

The Ravens are still showing interest in free-agent wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who played under Cam Cameron in San Diego. … The Oakland Raiders decided to pass on Ravens free-agent offensive tackle Jared Gaither after he was checked out by the team on a visit. Gaither missed all of last season with a back injury. … The Ravens re-signed wide receiver Marcus Smith and running back Jalen Parmele after withdrawing their restricted free agent tenders. Both were scheduled to make $1.2 million as restricted free agents. It is believed both signed for the veteran minimum ($685,000) which creates a total of $1 million in cap room. … The Ravens released two backups, defensive tackle Lamar Divens and running back Curtis Steele, after they both failed physicals. But Divens, who played in two games last season, was still at team headquarters Saturday. … The Ravens withdrew the restricted free-agent tender to defensive tackle Kelly Talavou, which makes him a free agent. He spent last season on injured reserve.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article

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