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The Ravens have reached an agreement on a contract with rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle, according to General Manager Ozzie Newsome.
Kindle will not play at all in 2010, as he will land on the Reserve Non-Football Injury list. Still, that hasn’t dulled his enthusiasm.
“I’ve been waiting for this since the end of minicamp,” Kindle said Thursday afternoon. “It’s a dream come true to have the chance to get back with my teammates.”
Kindle has been absent from Ravens headquarters since injuring his head this summer. The second-round draft pick (43rd overall) fell down two flights of stairs just days before training camp started in late July.
Kindle is expected to arrive in Baltimore on Friday, when he will sign his contract.
The team did not disclose terms of the deal, but the website Pro Football Talk reported earlier this week that the contract would be for one year worth the standard rookie salary of $320,000. If that is the case, Kindle would receive $282,000, considering he missed the first two weeks of the regular season.
The University of Texas product had been rehabilitating in his native Dallas, but made a brief stop for a neurological evaluation at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital in early September.
After consulting the results, the Ravens were not expecting to have Kindle on the football field all year.
“I know that I’m better than I was when I was in Baltimore,” said Kindle. “I’m not sure exactly what they saw in the tests, but if I had to do them all over, I’d do better, that’s for sure.”
When he finally is able to suit up, it is uncertain whether the former All-Big 12 pass rusher can return to his promising form.
“There’s no way to predict these things,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said last week. “You don’t know how a brain heals. It’s different in everybody and there’s just no way to predict it. So, you just have to see where it goes.”
Ever since he was cleared to work on his conditioning and get back in the weight room just over one month ago, Kindle has been eager to rejoin his teammates.
Had Kindle not signed with the Ravens, he would have re-entered the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, he hopes to get back to a level deserving the rookie contract he initially anticipated.
“That’s one thing I will do, show that I’m worth every dime that they spend on me,” said Kindle. “Money is one thing, but love for the game is another. I love this game too much to sit out a year. I never thought about sitting out and waiting that long.”
Starting 25 of 46 games for the Longhorns, the 6-3, 250-pounder finished his career at Texas with 176 tackles, 16 sacks and 43 stops for loss.