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Ravens, Sanders reach deal, source says


The Ravens have agreed to terms with Deion Sanders on a one-year, $1.5 million contract, a league source said last night.

The deal won't be finalized until the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback officially decides whether he will come back for a 14th NFL season. The source said Sanders is expected to announce his return to the Ravens today or tomorrow.

Under his agreement with the Ravens -- which was structured just like his contract last season -- Sanders could make as much as $4 million with incentives. He would earn about $3 million if he plays an entire season as the Ravens' nickel back.

The Ravens are not expected to announce an agreement until he passes a physical. Sanders, who turns 38 in August, had minor toe surgery in the offseason.

"I feel good," Sanders told the News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla., on Friday. "I feel damn good."

Team officials repeatedly had expressed optimism since the end of last season that Sanders would return.

One of the most dynamic defensive players in NFL history, Sanders surprisingly ended his three-year retirement by signing with the Ravens just 12 days before last season's opener.

His comeback was limited to nine games because of toe and hamstring injuries. Still, the player known as "Prime Time" was second on the team with three interceptions, running one back against the Buffalo Bills for a touchdown.

Ravens officials said they believe Sanders could make more of an impact this season given he will participate in a minicamp as well as a full training camp, all of which he missed last season.

The Ravens also will have Sanders split some time at nickel back with Dale Carter, who was sidelined last year with a blood clot. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan recently said the Ravens could use both veteran defenders at the same time, with Sanders as the nickel back (fifth defensive back) and Carter as the dime (sixth back).

"[Last season] was one of the funnest years that I've ever had," Sanders told the News-Press. "I played with a plethora of guys who were like my brothers."

NOTE: Ravens players will report to their first full-team minicamp of the offseason today. The first day of the voluntary camp is an administrative one and is closed to the media. It's the first time in coach Brian Billick's seven seasons that the Ravens have started a minicamp this way.

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