Free agent linebacker Peter Boulware, released by the Baltimore Ravens three months ago and having failed so far to exact a satisfactory contract proposal from other teams, is tentatively scheduled to work out next week for his former employers.
The audition, likely to occur on Tuesday or Wednesday, comes as the Ravens are in the midst of a stretch of injuries at the strongside linebacker spot. Starter Adalius Thomas suffered a hyperextended knee earlier this week and is listed as day-to-day. Rookie Dan Cody, a second-round choice from Oklahoma, sustained a serious knee injury the first week of camp. While the injury will be re-evaluated later this month, Cody probably will miss the entire season.
Versatile third-year veteran Jarret Johnson, a defensive end by trade, has worked with the first unit at strongside linebacker this week and he will start there in Saturday's preseason game at Atlanta. Even before camp began, Ravens officials, including head coach Brian Billick, said the team would entertain the notion of re-signing Boulware, a four-time Pro Bowl performer in his eight seasons with the franchise.
Hoping to dispel any lingering doubts about the state of his health, Boulware worked out in Tallahassee, Fla., last month for four teams interested in him. But the consensus was that he needed more time to rehabilitate from knee and toe injuries that sidelined him for the entire 2004 season.
Released by the Ravens in early May, after the two sides could not come to an agreement on a restructured contract, Boulware visited with the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks during the spring. None of those teams, though, made a solid offer to him.
Boulware, 30, spent the entire 2004 season on the physically unable to perform list as he attempted to recover from a knee injury sustained in the penultimate game of the 2003 campaign. He underwent toe surgery last December, the result of a November injury sustained in his first practice of the year, as he attempted to work his way off the NFL's physically unable to perform list. He has also had "microfracture" knee surgery.
He was scheduled to earn a $6 million base salary with the Ravens and reportedly rejected a restructuring that would have paid him $2 million with the chance to make an additional $2 million in incentives.
The Ravens' first-round choice in the 1997 draft, and the fourth overall player selected that year, Boulware appeared in 111 games and started 102 of them. He registered 487 tackles, 67½ sacks, 18 passes defensed, one interception, 13 fumbles forced and five fumble recoveries. Three times in his career, the former Florida State star has rung up double-digit sacks, with a career high of 15 in 2001.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.