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Matt Elam not hiring an agent, plans to negotiate own deal before camp starts, source says

FootballNFLBaltimore RavensNew York JetsLardarius WebbAbram Elam

Ravens first-round safety Matt Elam doesn't plan to hire an agent at this time and will negotiate his own rookie contract, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source emphasized that Elam's contract will be finalized in time for training camp and no deal is imminent. Rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans report July 21.

Under the NFL collective bargaining agreement, Elam isn't required to have an agent to negotiate an NFL contract. Recently, San Francisco 49ers veteran defensive end Justin Smith negotiated his own contract extension without representation.

Drafted 32nd overall by the Super Bowl champions, Elam is being advised by his older brother, veteran NFL safety Abram Elam.

The Ravens will spend $1.23 million against the salary cap in the first year when they sign Elam.

Under the NFL slotting system, Elam is slated to sign a four-year, $6.767 million contract that will include a $3.301 million signing bonus.

Elam has met with several agents before and after the draft, but has opted to not sign with one. Elam recently struck a multi-year endorsement deal with Under Armour.

Getting acclimated to the NFL hasn't been a slow process for Elam.

The former University of Florida All-American has been picking up the defense quickly and hasn't displayed any hesitation while lining up at strong safety and other positions.

Although the more difficult litmus tests will occur in training camp and the regular season, Elam has made a positive impression on the Ravens' veteran defensive backs.

"Matt looks good," Ravens veteran free safety Michael Huff said. "You can tell he's a young, hungry rookie. He just wants to run around and make plays. He's a smart guy, tough and physical. He's definitely going to make plays. Safety is going to be a nice group."

Elam is slated to compete with James Ihedigbo for the starting job. Ihedigbo once competed with Abram Elam when they were both with the New York Jets.

"Matt's a great player, he's a great guy," Ihedigbo said. "I played with his brother, Abe, with the Jets, so he comes with a great pedigree. I'm excited. At the end of the day, the best 11 players will be on the field."

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Elam recorded 176 career tackles, 24 for losses, six interceptions and two forced fumbles in three seasons for the Gators before being picked in the first round by general manager Ozzie Newsome.

"He's a great young man, quiet young man but not quiet on the field," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "I'm glad he's here. I'm very impressed. Ozzie picked a nice young man in the first round."

awilson@baltsun.com

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FootballNFLBaltimore RavensNew York JetsLardarius WebbAbram Elam
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