- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 12, 2001

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens, looking to replace injured running back Jamal Lewis, signed Terry Allen to a one-year contract yesterday for the veteran minimum salary.

Allen, who will earn $477,000, beat out former Seattle and Dallas running back Chris Warren for the job left open when Lewis sustained a season-ending knee injury Wednesday.

Allen and Warren were the most impressive of five players who worked out with the Super Bowl champion Ravens for nearly 30 minutes Friday.

Robert Chancey, Mario Bates and Greg Hill also tried out but Allen, a 1996 Pro Bowl selection who had four 1,000-yard seasons, got the nod over Warren because of superb conditioning and his willingness to be a more physical presence like Lewis.

In 11 NFL seasons, Allen has 7,956 career yards rushing on 1,986 carries, and 70 touchdowns. He also made 187 receptions, six for touchdowns.

"It feels good," Allen said. "I've never been to a Super Bowl, and this team has been there and knows what it takes to get there. That's the one thing left for me to do."

Allen, 33, was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and played in the same system run by then-Vikings offensive coordinator and current Ravens coach Brian Billick.

"Terry is a veteran runner who is familiar with Brian's system," said Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens vice president of football operations. "He was, in our opinion, the best available option on the free-agent market."

Billick said Allen won't play in Baltimore's preseason opener in Philadelphia tomorrow.

"You won't meet a classier, harder-working athlete in the National Football League," Billick said. "There are 30-some-odd days until the season opener, so while he's in pretty good shape, we'll have to work him into football shape.

"It may be the [preseason finale] New York Giants game before we get him bouncing around."

Allen has also played with Washington, New England and New Orleans, where he also found himself subbing for an injured featured back, Ricky Williams.

Allen's lone Pro Bowl selection came after the 1996 season, in which he gained 1,353 yards and scored 21 touchdowns for the Redskins.

He played six games last season with the Saints, including two in the postseason.

"As far as being in shape, I'm not even close to what they are now," Allen said of the Ravens. "But I've been to the Pro Bowl and had the 1,000-yard seasons and done everything else.

"I want to go to the Super Bowl and win it. That's the bottom line."

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