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Ayanbadejo to decide between Jets and Ravens today - Chicago Tribune


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Ayanbadejo's next stop? Likely Ravens or Jets

By Vaughn McClure

Tribune reporter

March 5, 2008, 8:01 PM CST

Brendon Ayanbadejo inquired about taking out a full-page newspaper ad just to thank the fans in Chicago for their great support. That's a good indication the Pro Bowl special-teamer won't be with the Bears this coming season.

Ayanbadejo is considering offers from the Ravens and Jets, both of them four-year deals that he says are worth close to $5 million total. He hopes to land $2 million guaranteed and is expected to choose between the teams Thursday.

Ayanbadejo also wants the opportunity to play more linebacker, something he wasn't able to do much with the Bears.

"I want to stay in Chicago," he said via text message Wednesday after landing home in Florida, "but I probably would play more defense in Baltimore. I will call the Bears in the morning to see if they will match, as promised."

Receiver Marty Booker doesn't have to mull over his options after agreeing to a two-year deal Tuesday with the Bears.

Booker is vacationing in Jamaica and has yet to sign the contract, but the Bears are counting on their former third-round draft pick to bring veteran leadership to a young receiving corps.

As for Ayanbadejo, the Bears recently indicated on their Web site that they would part ways with him after he visited the Jets on Monday, so matching the other teams' offers seems unlikely.

From the beginning, Ayanbadejo desired a contract somewhat equal to the five-year, $7.5 million one New York Giants specialist David Tyree signed before the beginning of last season. Tyree is believed to be the highest-paid special-teams player in the league.

Ayanbadejo was the Bears' special-teams captain. He led the team with 26 special-teams tackles last season.

He was selected to the last two Pro Bowls. The undrafted free agent actually had a stint with the Ravens in 2001, when he was allocated to NFL Europe then waived by Baltimore before the start of the season.

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