Ravens strike deal with rookie Tavares Gooden

Street Talk Ravens strike deal with rookie Tavares Gooden

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OWINGS MILLS — As the Baltimore Ravens’ rookies report to training camp today in Westminster, linebacker Tavares Gooden will arrive promptly after agreeing to a three-year, $1.76 million contract Sunday night.

The third-round draft pick from the University of Miami received a $610,100 signing bonus with base salaries of $295,000 in 2008, $385,000 in 2009 and $470,000 in 2010, according to NFL Players Association figures.

Gooden recorded 216 career tackles, one sack and one interception for the Hurricanes. He moved to middle linebacker as a senior and registered a career-high 100 tackles and three fumble recoveries.

He’s slated for immediate special-teams duty and will compete for playing time in the Ravens’ dime package.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are trying to finalize deals for second-round running back Ray Rice (Rutgers), third-round safety Tom Zbikowski (Notre Dame), sixth-round safety Haruki Nakamura, seventh-round wide receiver Justin Harper (Virginia Tech) and seventh-round running back Allen Patrick (Oklahoma).

Nakamura was on the verge of agreeing to terms this weekend after receiving a faxed offer late last week.

Although the signing pace has been slow in the second round, an NFL special master’s ruling on a collective bargaining agreement interpretation expected today could accelerate talks. The Ravens have discussed parameters of a deal with Rice’s agent.

Negotiations for Zbikowski were speeding up Sunday night.

The Ravens have already agreed to terms with first-round quarterback Joe Flacco (five years, maximum $30 million value, $8.75 million guaranteed money), third-round offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (three years, $1.59 million, $443,500 signing bonus), fourth-round wide receiver Marcus Smith (three years, $1.51 million, $369,000 signing bonus) and fourth-round offensive tackle David Hale (three years, $1.44 million, $300,000 signing bonus).

Flacco is scheduled to sign his contract today after traveling to Baltimore on Sunday from his New Jersey home.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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