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Ravens: Harbaugh commends Elam's negotiating skills, progress on the field

OWINGS MILLS - It remains to be seen how quickly Matt Elam can develop into the impact safety that many inside the Ravens' organization expect him to be. But, if nothing else, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh seemed impressed with the way Elam, with help, negotiated his own rookie contract without hiring an agent.
Elam, the Ravens' top pick in this year's NFL draft, agreed to terms on his rookie contract with Baltimore last week, a four-year deal worth $6.676 million that includes a $3.301 signing bonus.
And by not hiring an agent, Elam saved about $200,000 in agent fees.
"I thought it was really interesting what Matt did," Harbaugh said. "He had his brother [longtime NFL safety Abram Elam] as his primary advisor, and he got the same contract he would've gotten with an agent. I don't know that anyone's ever done that before in the modern area."
As far as Elam's progress on the field, Harbaugh said he has "nothing negative whatsoever" to say.
Elam, who enters training camp as the favorite to land the Ravens' starting safety job next to Michael Huff, earned positive reviews from Harbaugh, secondary coach Teryl Austin and cornerback Corey Graham last month for his play through that point of the offseason, and Harbaugh was further complimentary Tuesday.
"Positive in every way," Harbaugh said of Elam's progress. "[He's] certainly young. Certainly, he'll make a few mistakes here and there, but Matt will make them fast. He's a very aggressive player, very smart, and he's going to be a key contributor for us."
Elam was also noticeably leaner and more toned up than he was when Baltimore finished minicamp last month.
He said he's dropped eight pounds and now, at 5-foot-10, weighs right around 200 pounds.
"I've got very high expectations for myself," Elam said. "I feel like if I go out and keep on improving, it will take care of itself."

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