NFL notebook: Ravens plan to build stadium statue for Lewis

| Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

The Ravens are planning to build a statue for linebacker Ray Lewis around M&T Bank Stadium in the near future, owner Steve Bisciotti said Thursday.

“I think he set himself apart in Baltimore sports history,” said Bisciotti, who added he wouldn't be surprised if the statue was in place “in the next year or two.”

Lewis played the final game of his 17-year career in Sunday's 34-31 Super Bowl victory over the 49ers. He was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker.

Bisciotti said he doesn't know where the statue would be built. A statue of Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas already stands outside the stadium.

Also, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Lewis indicated he won't be part of the staff next season.

Baltimore expects to sign Flacco to deal

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said he is “optimistic” the team will be able to sign Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to a long-term deal.

But they vow not to overpay potential free agents or have several players restructure their contracts to keep the current roster intact.

That's what happened 12 years ago, when Newsome sacrificed the future to mount another run at a championship.

“We will not repeat what we did in 2001,” he said.

Local players invited to NFL Combine

Pitt running back Ray Graham and West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith are among 10 local players invited to the NFL Combine Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis.

Other players invited to the annual event are wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and center Joe Madsen of WVU; linebackers Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and center Matt Stankiewitch of Penn State; and Cal (Pa.) defensive back Rontez Miles.MVP Peterson has sports hernia surgery

Vikings running back and NFL MVP Adrian Peterson had surgery for a sports hernia.

The Vikings made the announcement on their website and say they “expect a speedy recovery with no long-term concerns.” Peterson had the procedure in Philadelphia.

Williams apologizes for Saints' bounty scandal

Gregg Williams thanked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstating him back to the league, and he also is apologizing while taking “full responsibility” for his role in the New Orleans' bounty scandal.

The NFL reinstated Williams, and the Titans hired him as a senior defensive assistant.

‘Redskins' takes beating at mascots symposium

The Washington Redskins are taking a beating at the Smithsonian.

The team's nickname — deemed by many as an offensive term toward Native Americans — was a prime topic of discussion at a daylong symposium at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Lions cut WR Young to remove a ‘distraction'

Lions coach Jim Schwartz says receiver Titus Young was released to get rid of a distraction.

Schwartz also said cutting defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman was strictly business. Detroit cut Young on Monday, and the Rams claimed him off waivers.

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