Walt Harris agrees to one-year deal

Veteran cornerback Walt Harris changed his mind. After initially declining the Baltimore Ravens' veteran minimum contract offer last week, Harris agreed to terms Thursday on a one-year deal. The original offer was increased, which prompted Harris to accept the offer.

His addition should reinforce the Ravens' secondary, which is thinner than the team is comfortable with as cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb continue to rehabilitate from torn anterior cruciate ligaments suffered last season.

A former Pro Bowl cornerback, Harris auditioned for the Ravens at their final passing camp along with safety Ken Hamlin and cornerback Ken Lucas.

The Ravens liked the way Harris moved around as he showed no problems cutting, running and backpedaling from a knee injury incurred over a year ago.

Harris, 35, was sidelined all of last season with the San Francisco 49ers due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"My knee felt good," Harris told the Times following his tryout. "It's a matter of trying to get back in the groove of things and planting. It felt great.

"It was good not having to think so much and just reacting. I think I can still bring a lot of experience and leadership. I have the ability to make plays."

The 5-foot-11, 196-pounder has intercepted 35 career passes, returning four for touchdowns.

A former Chicago Bears first-round draft pick in 1996, Harris played for the Bears for six seasons as well as stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and the 49ers.

In his last active season with the 49ers, he started every game and intercepted three passes while recording a team-high 12 passes defensed and 83 tackles.

In 2006 he was named to the Pro Bowl as he registered career highs in interceptions (eight) and interception return yards (84) with one touchdown return.

NOTE: Ravens inside linebacker Tavares Gooden has switched representation, rehiring Tony Fleming as his agent.

Fleming, who works for Impact Sports out of Boca Raton, Fla., was Gooden's original agent out of the University of Miami.

Gooden had been represented by Drew Rosenhaus until recently making this change.

A former third-round draft pick, Gooden spent the majority of his rookie season on injured reserve and underwent hip flexor and sports hernia surgeries.

Last season, the 6-foot-1, 242-pounder recorded 47 tackles and one pass deflection and a dozen starts.

Former undrafted rookie Dannell Ellerbe finished last season as the starting Jack linebacker next to All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

Gooden is slated to compete with Ellerbe for the starting job during training camp, but Ellerbe is regarded as the frontrunner to retain the job after a strong ending to last season.


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