Linebackers Gooden, Burgess let go (Marcus Smith, too)

The Ravens’ linebacking corps and special teams units will have a bit of a new look this season.

Linebackers Tavares Gooden and Prescott Burgess, key special teams contributors the last few seasons, have been released today, according to

Gooden, who got the nickname “Baby Ray” at the University of Miami, was once thought of as the heir to Ray Lewis. Injuries played a key factor in limiting the 2008 third-round pick’s development, and he never evolved into the consistent playmaker that the Ravens hoped he’d become.

Burgess was a sixth-round pick back in 2007. He led the Ravens in special teams tackles last year, but the new kickoff rules lessened Burgess’ potential impact this season.

The release of Gooden and Burgess bodes well for third-year linebacker Jason Phillips, who was on the roster bubble.

Veteran defensive tackle Lamar Divens is also among the Ravens’ cuts.

UPDATE: Wide receiver Marcus Smith, a fourth-round pick in 2008, tells me he’s been released.

Smith was a strong special teams player last year, but with LaQuan Williams making the 53, Smith was boxed out of a roster spot.

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