Still No Deal With Graham

Shayne Graham remains on the Ravens’ radar, but he’s not signed yet.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

As reports surfaced this week putting the Ravens close to a contract agreement with kicker Shayne Graham, no deal has been done yet. 

But, the Ravens are “interested” in Graham, according to Head Coach John Harbaugh.

“Shayne is a guy that we’ve been in contact with and we’re interested in,” Coach Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s rookie camp practice.  “We’ll just see how it plays out over the next couple of days.”

When  asked about the deal’s immanence, Harbaugh declined to predict the future.

“I don’t want to characterize it until it happens. That’s something I’ve learned here from Ozzie [Newsome, Ravens General Manager],” he said.  “We’ll see what happens, whether that gets accomplished or not.  We’ve said before that we want to bring in a veteran kicker to compete.”

The Baltimore Sun reported that a Ravens official would be “shocked” if the team failed to reach an agreement with the longtime Cincinnati Bengals kicker. 

Graham, a nine-year veteran who had been with the Cincinnati Bengals since 2003, would potentially compete with Billy Cundiff for the Ravens’ job Cundiff claimed midway through last season. 

Joining Baltimore in Week 11 after a brief stint with the Cleveland Browns (where he temporarily filled in for an injured Phil Dawson), Cundiff connected on 22 extra points and 15 of 20 field goals for the Ravens, including the playoffs.

Thus far in the offseason, Cundiff has been the sole leg on the Ravens’ roster.  And Cundiff has acquitted himself well.  Last week, Cundiff nailed six of eight field goals, including a 53-yarder.

“Billy’s had a tremendous offseason, and if you look at the way he kicked during the regular season, I thought he had a very good season, especially coming like he did.  He hadn’t been kicking for a couple of weeks,” Coach Harbaugh said.  “Billy’s a guy that can definitely kick in this league.  He’s got leg strength, he’s got accuracy, and his mechanics have tremendously improved because of the work he’s put in.”

Graham, 32, is currently the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history. 

Even if Graham does not join the Ravens, Harbaugh said they would still look to add another veteran to the mix. 

“If you add competition to the mix, another guy that can push a veteran kicker – two guys that have solid, mature mindsets and can handle pressure – and see how that shakes out, that’s something we’d like to do,” Harbaugh noted.  “We want to add to the competition at that position.”

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