Front office casts an eye toward free agent Simon


The Ravens have interest in defensive tackle Corey Simon, although his contract demands might be too steep for the team, coach Brian Billick said yesterday.

Simon, 28, became an unrestricted free agent Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles removed the franchise tag from the disgruntled six-year veteran. A Pro Bowl lineman in 2003, he has 32 sacks and 105 quarterback pressures in 78 career games.

Asked if the Ravens had interest in Simon, Billick said, "I'm sure. There will certainly be economic questions to be had and I'm sure Ozzie [Newsome, general manager] will look at it. It could get a little pricey but I'm sure they are on top of it and they will monitor it."

The Ravens have been pleased with the play of nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu and defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, but Simon is considered a more dynamic lineman.

Simon's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, confirmed last night that he had been in contact with Newsome. Barnes said nine to 10 teams are interested in Simon, and that a decision on a new team will be made within a few days.

"He is just looking to put himself in the best situation," Barnes said. "It's going to come down to money and the best situation."

In fact, the Ravens had agreed on terms of a trade for Simon four months ago - giving up second- and third-round picks in the 2005 draft - before backing away when they couldn't reach a long-term contract with him. The Cincinnati Bengals also tried to acquire him but, like the Ravens, thought Simon's asking price on a new contract was too expensive (he wanted at least $16 million to sign and a contract averaging $6 million per year).

Rolle awaits NFL word

Cornerback Samari Rolle said he has not heard from the NFL yet regarding a possible one-game suspension, which means he still has a shot at playing in the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

"I'm still waiting," Rolle said. "The season opener is getting closer and that's what I want to be here for."

Rolle agreed to probation and anger management counseling nearly five months ago to settle charges in his domestic violence case, which makes him subject to disciplinary action by the league.

J. Lewis 50-50 for finale

Billick said one of the priorities for the preseason finale is getting the first preseason action for running back Jamal Lewis, tight end Todd Heap and pass-rush specialist Peter Boulware.

According to Lewis, his latest injury is related to the same ankle he had surgically repaired, which contradicts previous reports. He said it's "something like a bone spur, but it's really just from scar tissue."

As to whether he'll play Thursday, he said, "It'll be 50-50. Really, I'm just going to take it day-by-day, starting with today. Like we said, if I don't feel comfortable going, then I'm not going to go out there. I'd rather just wait for the first game."

Brother cut, Ogden upset

Left tackle Jonathan Ogden was visibly disturbed by the release of his brother Marques when the first round of cuts was announced yesterday.

Marques Ogden, originally a sixth-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003, spent 14 games on the Ravens' practice squad last year as a guard.

"It's one of those things where I completely disagree with the whole situation," Jonathan Ogden said. "I don't think it's right, but at the same time, I do understand the nature of it because it is a business, and I know where they are coming from. That doesn't mean I have to like it. That doesn't mean I have to sit here and give you a happy song and dance and say it's part of the business."

Ogden said his disappointment will not show on the field.

"This is my job, and I'm going to have to do what I have to do no matter," Ogden said. "No matter what I feel toward anybody about the situation, I'm a professional, and I've been a professional now for 10 years. I'm going to go do my job. How I feel about people around here is not relevant to what I have to go do. It's not a Terrell Owens situation, trust me."

End zone

The Ravens also released tight end Rob Abiamiri (Maryland), cornerback Bill Alford, kickers Rhys Lloyd and Owen Pochman, offensive tackle Lester Brown, running back Keith Burnell, defensive lineman Walter Curry, safety Jarvis Johnson, linebacker Stave Josue, defensive tackle Tron LaFavor and receivers Curtis Williams and Fred Stamps. Five players have NFL exemptions, leaving the roster at 71.

Sun staff writer Mike Preston contributed to this article.

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