Progress made in McCrary talks; Ravens, agent discuss raising signing bonus


The Ravens and the agent for defensive end Michael McCrary made more progress yesterday toward reaching an agreement on a six-year contract extension, and negotiations could reach a critical point today.

Sources close to the negotiations said the two sides have talked about bumping McCrary's proposed signing bonus from $11.5 million to $12.25 million, which could mark a significant move forward in the talks.

Michael George, McCrary's agent, and Pat Moriarty, the Ravens vice president of administration, are scheduled for more talks today. McCrary is looking for a $42 million deal, a figure the Ravens appear to be moving toward after offering a $36.5 million package earlier.

"I feel pretty good about where it's headed, but I won't really know until [today]," McCrary said last night.

McCrary has said if he doesn't have a contract extension when the regular season begins, he plans to try free agency in 2000.

McCrary is due to make $2.5 million in 1999, the last season of a three-year deal.

"We still don't have a deal, but we did make more progress today," George said. "We still have obstacles, and we're running out of time. Hopefully, something will happen [today]."

The biggest obstacle appears to be the salary structure in the first half of the deal. The two sides had been as much as $8 million apart in that phase of their talks.

"The bonus number is just part of the issues, just one of a bunch of things that we're addressing," Moriarty said.

"We've made some progress. Both sides are working hard."

Next for Ravens

Regular-season opener

Opponent: St. Louis Rams

Site: Trans World Dome, St. Louis

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)

Line: Even

Pub Date: 9/09/99

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