's Super Bowl XXXV coverage

Dilfer unlikely to remain in Baltimore

Trent Dilfer is 10-1 as a starter. He is a Super Bowl quarterback. But even if he should have a career game and win the Super Bowl MVP, it is no lock that he will continue to be the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

More than his pending free agency, Dilfer's future with the Ravens is based on the team's belief that he is primarily a backup quarterback.

The Ravens think the 2001 season will present a greater challenge. The team can't sneak up on anyone. Plus, they will lose players to the salary cap.

Consequently, as one team official said, "We're going to need real production out of the quarterback next year."

Ravens coach Brian Billick has joked recently about being "pulled over to the dark side" of defensive football, but he has been pained by his team's offensive impotency. Dilfer makes $1 million on a one-year contract he signed before the 2000 season.

The Ravens will talk with Redskins free agent Brad Johnson. He knows the offense from his days with Billick in Minnesota and would give the Ravens an asset at quarterback while Chris Redman, a third-round draft pick in 2000, continues his development.

Billick's pipe dream? Maybe it's that Mark Brunell's contract negotiations with Jacksonville will implode, causing the Jaguars to release the quarterback because of a $13-million cap figure in 2001.

Team sources say Billick believes Brunell is the best QB in the NFL. However, the Jaguars are likely to re-sign Brunell; if they can't, then Seattle's Mike Holmgren is ready to pounce with a generous trade offer. HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP

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