Men in motion

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle has restructured his contract and is cleared to play for the 2008 season.

Rolle missed 10 games in 2007 because of seizures from epilepsy, as doctors worked to find the right medication to control them.

But Rolle says he has a clean bill of health, and his contract has been restructured around his playing time and conditions related to epilepsy. Rolle has three years remaining on his deal.

"Basically, if I play, I'm under the original conditions of my contract," Rolle said.

There was speculation that Rolle might be moved to the nickel, or fifth, defensive back position this season, but he has not heard that from new coach John Harbaugh or defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

"I met with Coach Harbaugh recently, and nothing has changed except my locker, which is now a little closer to Todd Heap," said Rolle, laughing. "I feel I'm a starter, and I'm going to approach it that way until I'm told differently, or somebody beats me out.

"I expect the team to bring in a young cornerback, especially after what happened last year. I'm in my 11th year, and I think Chris [McAlister] is going into his 10th. But there are corners out there older than me starting and playing well, so I know I can still play at a high level."

When he did play last season, Rolle performed reasonably well, especially after a poor 2006 season.

The skinny on Flacco

The Ravens reportedly watched Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco work out Thursday, and this kid could be a gem for some NFL team.

He has been overlooked by some teams because he played in the former Division I-AA.

But Flacco is 6 feet 6 and weighs 232 pounds. He supposedly has great arm strength and good accuracy.

He's not that great of a runner but throws well on the run. Some scouts have compared him to the Denver Broncos' Jay Cutler.

If he is available in the second round, the Ravens should snatch him up.

All Flacco did his senior season was complete 63.5 percent of his passes for 4,263 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Decisions, decisions

While on the subject of quarterbacks, several publications have the Ravens taking Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm or Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long with the No. 8 overall pick.

Brohm is considered the most mechanically sound of any college quarterback because his father was a coach and his brothers coached him at Louisville.

He has great technique and footwork but apparently lacks the ability to run and make plays outside the pocket.

Overall, though, some say he has more potential than Boston College's Matt Ryan, even though Ryan has great toughness.

Long is a 6-7, 325-pound monster. He's a mauler inside but not athletic enough to pull and make blocks on the perimeter. He's a brute and could become the long-term replacement for Jonathan Ogden at left tackle.

Ogden might retire

Speaking of Ogden, there's no answer yet about his retirement, but there are signs he isn't coming back.

When Ogden decided not to play in the Pro Bowl, some thought that was a great indication he didn't want to play anymore.

The team's decision to cut veteran center Mike Flynn probably didn't help, either. Flynn and Ogden were close and probably could have talked each other through another training camp.

But without an old friend, Ogden might decide enough is enough.

Sympathy for Suggs

I can't blame Terrell Suggs for filing a grievance against the Ravens over his designation as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end.

The Ravens put the franchise tag on Suggs on Feb. 19 with a one-year tender worth $8.065 million (the average of the five highest-paid linebackers in the NFL).

But Suggs wants the one-year tag of $8.879 million for defensive ends, worth $814,000 more than what linebackers receive.

Sorry, big fella, but you're an outside linebacker. You've said many times that you wanted to become a "complete linebacker."

Plus, defensive ends don't cover running backs or tight ends downfield.

Defensive ends put their hand in the dirt on every play. You mostly put yours there in pass-rushing situations.

Nice try, though. I'd do the same thing if I were you.

Standing pat

The Ravens have done very little in the free-agent market, and they don't need to. The early days of free agency are nothing more than a lot of average players getting overpaid.

It's better to just wait, unless you're a team looking for that one player who will get you a Super Bowl title.

The Ravens are a team that needs to get younger, and they can do that only through the draft. That's the best way to invest in the NFL.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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