The "sale" tag caught his eye. A rib-eye steak at that low price? Jonathan Ogden scooped up the package and angled for the supermarket checkout line.
The clerks saw him coming: with his tousled hair and frumpy clothes, Ogden looked less like a multimillionaire football player than he did like a bum.
Flustered, perhaps, by his unkempt appearance, the cashier overcharged Ogden for the steak. As the Ravens lineman argued the price, another customer sized him up and dug into her purse.
"Here," the woman said, handing Ogden a 10-spot. "I'll buy that for you."
She didn't recognize Ogden, 32, one of the NFL's richest stars. But then the 6-foot-9, 345-pound Pro Bowl offensive tackle is something of an anomaly: an extraordinary man with somewhat ordinary tastes.
The Ravens might have given him a seven-year, $48 million contract in 2004, but those close to Ogden say he gets as big a kick out of saving a buck as he does pancaking a defensive end.
As training camp begins next week in Ogden's 12th and possibly final season, teammates say the affable giant with the seven-figure paycheck and flea-market mind-set is as much a legend off the field as on it.
Other Ravens marvel at his intellect. With a stack of books in his locker, Ogden's size 8 3/4 head is often buried in a Laurell K. Hamilton vampire thriller or a John Grisham whodunit.
"There are always a half-dozen hardbacks around him," said Ravens center Mike Flynn, his best friend on the team. "But knowing J.O., they are from a used bookstore."
His threadbare attire draws smirks and stares. Despite his millions, Ogden will wear the same T-shirt to practice three days in a row.
"Why not?" he said. "I take it off when I get there, so I really only wear it for five hours a day.
"It's not like I stink."
Ogden's lifestyle may be the dullest by NFL standards. As a bachelor, he said, "I used to come home, sit on the sofa and watch TV."
Marriage tweaked that routine:
"Now I come home, kiss my wife, play with the baby, sit on the sofa and watch TV."
His thriftiness has reached mythic proportions.
"When J.O. and I go to the movies, I have to pay for his popcorn," Flynn said. "He'll say, `I only have a $100 bill, and I don't want to break it.' "
Ogden resides in Nevada, in part because the state has no income tax.
"I do like that fact," he said.