Lewis talks, says he'll attend camps
Making his first comments since being indicted Feb. 25, Jamal Lewis said Tuesday he is confident about being acquitted of drug conspiracy charges.
Lewis, who flirted with the NFL's single-season rushing mark last season, expects to have a better season in 2004 and said he plans to attend all of the Baltimore Ravens' minicamps and training camp.
"I'm doing fine, and in very good spirits," Lewis was quoted as saying in The Baltimore Sun's Wednesday editions. "Everything will turn out OK. I'm confident of that. I really have no other comment. Everybody has been seeing what my lawyer has been saying, and things are looking good right now."
Lewis was indicted in Atlanta on federal drug charges. Federal prosecutors say they have tapes that will show Lewis helped broker a cocaine deal for a childhood friend, Angelo Jackson, during conversations with the informant in 2000.
Lewis, 24, and Jackson, 26, who both grew up in the same area of Atlanta, are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine and using a cell phone in violation of federal law. Jackson is additionally charged with attempted cocaine possession. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Lewis' attorneys have claimed in court papers that there are at least two tapes of phone conversations in which the informant is speaking and no one can be heard on the other end of the line. The tapes have not been made public.
The case spans a period after Lewis, a former University of Tennessee tailback, had been drafted by Baltimore but before he signed a six-year, $35.3 million contract with the franchise.
In his interview with The Sun, Lewis declined to talk about his pending trial. A trial date has not been set. Lewis also said he expects to receive a contract extension from the Ravens once his legal issues are resolved.
"The new contract will be in the making once everything pans out," Lewis told the newspaper. "My main concern right now is about this little situation, so we didn't go forth with the negotiations.
"I wouldn't expect them [the Ravens] to offer me anything right now; it's all part of the business. The new deal will come in due time. If I didn't prove last year that I was the best running back in the league, I will prove it hands down this season."
Lewis, who rushed for 2,066 yards last season, told The Sun he will appear at team minicamps on May 17, June 7 and June 14 and at training camp July 29.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.