Owings Mills, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday that All-Pro cornerback Chris McAlister will be their franchise player.
McAlister recorded 43 tackles, 11 passes defensed, three interceptions and one touchdown last season for Baltimore, which was bounced from the first-round of the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans.
According to a report on The Baltimore Sun website, the Ravens are now required to give McAlister a one-year deal worth $7.1 million -- the average of the top five players at his position.
If Baltimore didn't name him its franchise player, McAlister would have become an unrestricted free agent on March 3 and been able to negotiate with other clubs.
The Ravens chose to make the 2003 Pro Bowler a non-exclusive franchise player, allowing other teams to negotiate with him. However, Baltimore could match any offers the 26-year-old cornerback receives.
If the Ravens decide not to match an offer from another club, they would receive two first-round picks from the team that signs him as compensation.
The Arizona product also was designated the team's franchise player after the 2002 campaign. McAlister was drafted by the Ravens with the 10th pick of the 1999 NFL Draft.
McAlister, who won a Super Bowl ring with Baltimore in 2000, earned his first Pro Bowl invitation with a breakthrough season last year.
In five NFL seasons, the Pasadena, California native has 77 passes defensed, 14 interceptions and two touchdowns.