The Ravens had until Wednesday to match the offer for free agent
Taylor, the primary backup to Pro Bowler Jamal Lewis, but opted to act Monday.
The deal includes a $2 million base salary, a $1 million signing bonus and a pair of $100,000 incentive clauses.
"This shows the continued commitment of Steve Bisciotti to win
and the flexibility of our cap that we can retain a player like
Chester," Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Over the
last three years, Chester has been productive both when spelling
Jamal Lewis and when he has started for him. Keeping Chester makes
us a stronger and deeper team."
Taylor, slated to compete with Lee Suggs for the Browns'
starting running back job, would receive $100,000 if he makes the Pro
Bowl and $100,000 if he rushes for 1,000 yards. It's unlikely that
those incentives will be triggered in 2005 because of Lewis'
presence. Taylor rushed for 714 yards and two touchdowns last
season while catching 30 passes.
"He looks forward to helping the Ravens compete for a Super
Bowl ring in 2005," agent Ken Sarnoff said of Taylor.
Taylor's contract will count approximately $3 million against
the Ravens' 2005 salary cap. He is still slated to be an
unrestricted free agent in 2006, when he would be free to sign with
any franchise. Taylor was drafted in the sixth round out of Toledo
If the Ravens hadn't opted matched the offer, they would have
received the Browns' sixth-round draft pick as compensation.