Ogden: No minicamp; decision for '08 nears

The Baltimore Sun

Jonathan Ogden said he will likely decide before next month's NFL draft whether to retire.

The 11-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle said yesterday that his toe injury remains a problem and that he won't be participating in the Ravens' first minicamp April 17. The draft begins April 26.

"If I can't play football the way I'm used to [playing], then I'm not going to [return]," Ogden said at yesterday's 5-35 autograph event honoring the city's two Super Bowl championship teams. "If I think I can, I want to give it a shot."

Ogden, 33, visited the Ravens headquarters Friday and met with coach John Harbaugh and other team officials.

He denied a rumor that he told the Ravens he would test out the toe in minicamps.

"I didn't say that," Ogden said.

Since the final month of the 2007 regular season, Ogden has repeatedly said he is leaning toward retirement.

He originally hyperextended the big toe on his left foot Dec. 17, 2006. Ogden said the toe never got a chance to heal last season because he played on it. That's why he has decided to rest the toe this offseason rather than continually test it. Still, there's no guarantee he will be fully recovered by the start of the season.

"If I had to make a decision today, I probably would say I would retire," Ogden said. "That's why I'm not making it right now. I want to feel good. Last year, I was injured the entire season and it [stunk]. I don't want to go through that again."

Asked whether he has tried anything athletic with the toe, Ogden said: "Just my golf swing. And it's going good."

Note -- Trent Dilfer attended the autograph festival, marking the fourth time he has returned to Baltimore since the Ravens decided not to re-sign the Super Bowl-winning quarterback. "This is more special [than the previous trips] because I'm here as a Raven," Dilfer said. "That, in itself, makes it very nostalgic and it brings back a lot of memories." Dilfer, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers on March 13, said he has not decided what he'll do this season. He has talked to a couple of teams about being a backup quarterback and has interviewed with television networks for an analyst job.jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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