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Roman Oben?

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Oben is an average NFL player. The Giants and Browns way overestimated his upside and Cleveland gave him a large free agent contract a couple of years ago.

What is funny is that Oben was beaten like a drum by Ken Harvey in the 1990's and I could never understand the hoopla.

Oben definitely isn't cut out for LT. If he can play RG then so be it.

But I haven't seen that demonstrated anywhere.

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Linemen Oben, Spears will pay Ravens a visit

Free agents considered for spot at right tackle


By Brent Jones

Sun Staff

Originally published May 1, 2002

The Ravens will bring in unrestricted free-agent offensive tackles Roman Oben and Marcus Spears for a look by the end of this week, team officials confirmed.

Oben, the starting left tackle for the Cleveland Browns last season, was released in a salary-cap move in February. Spears became a starter for the first time in his eight-year career last season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Both would come to the Ravens at right tackle and compete for the starting job with Jason Thomas, a second-year player out of Hampton who has not started in the NFL.

Oben, 29, signed a three-year, $10.8 million contract in 2000, but was benched in Week 14 last year. Before then, he had started every game for four years (two with the Browns, two with the New York Giants). Oben was a third-round pick of the Giants in 1996.

The Washington Redskins have also shown an interest in Oben.

"He's been around the league for a while," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "Having played against him, you obviously get a good feel for what he can do."

Spears, 30, was a career backup before last season - starting just twice in 48 games with the Chicago Bears and Chiefs. He was drafted in the second round in 1994, and has played some guard.

Spears has not ruled out re-signing with the Chiefs.

"He's a good athlete," Billick said. "He seems like a good fit."

Meanwhile, the Ravens lost safety Rod Woodson to the Oakland Raiders yesterday. Woodson reportedly signed a six-year deal that will pay him $1.75 million next season.

"It's a little bit of a surprise," Billick said. "I had anticipated Pittsburgh, and [Washington Redskins defensive coordinator] Marvin [Lewis] would have liked to have had Rod back."

So far, the Ravens are 1-for-1 in free-agent signings this off-season, having signed quarterback Jeff Blake to a one-year deal last week. Blake is the only major free agent to have visited.

NOTES: Ravens running back Derek Homer was named Offensive Player of the Week in NFL Europe. Homer rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown in the F.C. Barcelona Dragons' 30-27 win over Amsterdam.

Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun

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Oben is likely holding out for a tackle spot on a one year deal to prove himself. I doubt he would move to guard for little above the minimum as tackles make more overall.

If Oben takes a RT job in Baltimore and plays well, at age 29 he can come back as a UFA next season and earn a good payday for himself.

If he comes to Washington as a guard and plays well he is still looking at only a moderate deal for 2003 and beyond.

I think we should stick to trying to sign a player with experience at guard.

Enough taking guys and moving them around.

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