Richardson can't give new deal a boost


All punter Kyle Richardson wanted was incentives. All the Ravens wanted was an incentive to give them to him.

Richardson, as an exclusive-rights player, signed his one-year tender with no incentive clauses worth $385,000 late Monday, and reported to training camp yesterday. His one-day holdout boiled down to a pay cut of $5,000.

According to his agent Steve Weinberg, the two-year starter earned $390,000 last year, which included nearly $35,000 from incentives. But since the NFL says Richardson has less than three years of service, he had two choices: sign a tender for less money or sit out the season.

"I'm not upset with the Ravens at all," Richardson said. "I understand the system. It's just I'm going to have to take a pay cut from last year, and that's pretty much my whole stance.

"Really, all I wanted was incentives so I could have the opportunity to make what I made last year and not have to take a pay cut. Their stance is they don't have to."

Yet technically, the Ravens had no obligation to give the incentives.

"Technically, yeah," Richardson said. "But there is always room for negotiations, right?"

Richardson also contends that he should be labeled a restricted free agent, meaning other teams could have made him a higher offer that the Ravens would have had to match to keep him. In 1997, he played in a total of five games with Miami and Seattle, but got paid for six weeks because of a bye week.

Although the league considers six games a full season, Richardson still interprets that he has played three seasons and should not have had to sign an exclusive-rights tender. He plans to go to arbitration with the NFL over this matter at the end of the season.

The Ravens, though, declared no ill feelings toward Richardson.

"Kyle and I got together, looked each other in the eye and agreed that agents and administrators are full of it," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "So, we're going to leave the rest of the world to them, but Kyle and I are getting along fine."

'Don't hit ... like that'

It only took until the second day for the first punches of training camp to be thrown.

Rookie offensive tackle David Camacho, the second-tallest Raven at 6 feet 7, took several swings at defensive end Charles Preston after a full-team drills play. Although none of the punches landed within a couple of feet of Preston, Billick voiced his displeasure - loudly.

"In a minute, you'll be out of here," Billick told Camacho. "Don't hit someone like that."

Filling in nicely

Lional Dalton has been the beneficiary of Tony Siragusa's holdout as the third-year pro has been working with the first-team defense in Siragusa's tackle position.

Dalton said he feels comfortable in the starting lineup and knows the defense well. He said he's been doing well, but admits that he still needs to get in football shape.

"Finishing is my problem," Dalton said. "I'm working on that every day. I need to practice bending my knees and staying in football position."

Said Billick, "One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity. Lional Dalton and Martin Chase all have a chance to have happen for them all that they've been wanting to."

End zone

Outside linebacker Peter Boulware did not practice again yesterday. Billick said he would be surprised if Boulware hasn't joined in the non-contact drills within two weeks. ... The Ravens had a light workout in the afternoon, practicing an hour on special teams. ... Billick said Friday's scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field will amount to a little over 70 combined plays and be an evaluation tool of his second- and third-string players.

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