7-15-02, 11:20 p.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
Sam Adams, the Ravens' highly-regarded defensive tackle, is looking for more than a one-night layover as he heads into his ninth NFL season. After making his first connections in Cincinnati Monday night, Adams wouldn't mind an address at Paul Brown Stadium.
"I'm looking for a home, not a pit stop," said Adams after getting into town and preparing for Tuesday's free-agent visit with the club. "There are some places you don't fit in, but after meeting some people, I definitely think I do here. I thought that last year when I watched them play. It's an excellent defense."
Adams is also talking seriously with the Broncos and Raiders and has yet to delve into concrete numbers with the Bengals. He said, "it all gets back to money in the end," but he also said there are other considerations and the Bengals flashed some Monday night.
Adams met with defensive line coach Tim Krumrie and defensive end Justin Smith, as well as renewed his acquaintance with Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. Bratkowski had the same job with
Seattle when Adams was with the Seahawks from 1994-99.
It is not lost on Adams that at 29 years young, he would become a budding defense's first Pro Bowler off his selection during the Ravens' 2000 Super Bowl season. He's intrigued with a rotation of himself, Oliver Gibson, and Tony Williams in the middle of a 4-3 defense ranked ninth in the NFL last season.
"This is a very talented line. I like the way Gib plays. I've been watching him," Adams said. "The line coach is a guy who played and he likes to go to war with his players. I'd love to play with these guys."
Adams said he could live with a role in which he would share time with two other high-profile tackles.
"I'm looking to do what is needed," Adams said. "If that means being in a rotation or not in a rotation, whatever. I'm looking to be on the field and contribute."
Adams has already been on the horn checking out the Bengals. He has chatted with quarterback Jon Kitna, another former Seahawk, about how a family that includes three children would find Cincinnati.
"Kit and his family love it here," Adams said.
But much of it if not all hinges on negotiations with Adams' agent, Eugene Parker, and Jim Lippincott, the Bengals director of pro/college personnel. Lippincott said he plans to be talking to Parker Tuesday, but isn't saying what the Bengals will be dangling. All indications are they want a multi-year deal.
"I prefer a multi-year deal, too," Adams said. But when it comes to how much he would take here compared to a one-year deal with perennial AFC West contenders Denver and Oakland, he indicated he would leave all that to Parker.
The Bengals don't figure to use what is left of their 2002 salary cap for veterans (probably about $3 million) on Adams, given the ongoing talks with linebackers Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons about extensions.
But they would like to make some kind of a move before training camp opens in 10 days and feel Adams can give them a major boost.