Ravens trade Burgess to Patriots, sign Curtis

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens traded reserve inside linebacker and special-teams contributor Prescott Burgess to the New England Patriots for a conditional seventh-round draft pick Tuesday, a transaction that prevented him from potentially joining the Cleveland Browns.

The Ravens also added some depth at tight end by signing veteran Tony Curtis, who was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles during their final major roster cutdown.

Burgess was originally going to be placed on waivers by Baltimore. And the winless Browns, who visit M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday, were interested in signing him with part of their motivation based on obtaining some inside information.

The Patriots, who liked Burgess coming out of the University of Michigan in 2007 when Baltimore picked him in the sixth round, wanted to make sure they acquired Burgess rather than probably not being able to land him off waivers.

Along with several other tight ends, Curtis had worked out recently for the Ravens. The Ravens needed to gain some depth at the position with L.J. Smith dealing with a pulled left hamstring that has sidelined him for two games.

"That was really tough because Prescott is a good player," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on his weekly radio program. "He was playing well on special teams. I think he worked as hard as anybody. We had a roster spot we had to do something with because we signed Tony Curtis. He can play tight end pretty well.

"We worked him out over a week ago and had an idea we wanted to bring him in. We really feel we needed to bolster the position depth-wise. Plus, he's a pretty decent special-teams player. Prescott afforded us the ability to make that move and get a draft pick, which in the long run is a good thing for our team."

Burgess was leading the Ravens with five special-teams tackles this season after spending his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve with hip and shoulder injuries.

Curtis is a third-year pro who has caught 11 career passes for 50 yards and three touchdowns.

He played in every game with the Dallas Cowboys after signing as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Portland State. He caught eight passes for 32 yards last season.

NOTE: The Browns worked out former Ravens cornerback Evan Oglesby, but he wasn't signed as they went with former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Anthony Madison. They also cut tight end Martin Rucker and signed Greg Estandia off waivers.

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