The agent for Ravens center Steve Everitt has declined the team's initial offer of a five-year contract worth $9 million, and the club expects to receive a counterproposal today.
It's the first time both parties have reported movement in about a week. Everitt initially wanted a five-year deal worth $15 million, but seems to have backed off and is willing to negotiate.
In the past, agent John Macik has proposed contracts that asked for as much as a $3.1 million signing bonus for a six-year contract, and an average salary of $2.4 million to $2.6 million a season.
The Ravens have offered Everitt, a fourth-year player, a five-year contract that includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and yearly salaries worth almost $1.8 million.
"It was a conceptual, abstract proposal and we couldn't accept it," Macik said. "But the proposal had a lot of possibilities, and I have made some proposals over the years with a lot of possibilities, so I'll send him one [today] and see what happens."
David Modell, the team's vice president of marketing, said he was optimistic about re-signing Everitt.
"I'm excited and extremely anxious to receive John's proposal so we can move this process along expeditiously," Modell said.
Everitt is the team's designated transition player. If the Ravens fail to re-sign him by Friday, Everitt can listen to offers from any NFL team and the Ravens would have to match any offer to retain him.
If the Ravens don't meet the deadline, they must automatically tender Everitt a one-year offer of $2.8 million -- the average salary of the league's 10 highest-paid offensive linemen -- unless they withdraw his transition tag.
If the Ravens withdraw that designation, Everitt would become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team.
Meanwhile, negotiations between the Ravens and Denver that would send left offensive tackle Tony Jones to the Broncos in exchange for a second-round pick in this year's draft continued to move along, and a deal is expected to be completed by Friday.
The Ravens are trading Jones because of his high salary and age, 30, and the team also may be looking to trade free safety Eric Turner.
Turner, 28, was the team's second-leading tackler with 112, but the front office doesn't believe he played up to the $3.3 million he earned last season, tops for any safety in the league.
Pub Date: 2/12/97