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Free Agents: Ellerbe is a higher priority than Kruger

Street Talk Free Agents: Ellerbe is a higher priority than Kruger

Posted in Street Talk
8+ Comments danny eppard says Need to get Boldin locked up before both of these guys. I know he is signed but need to restructure his contract. So we can get Ellerbe locked for 4 or 5 more y
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The personnel decisions facing general manager Ozzie Newsome and the rest of the Ravens front office are no different than what every other team in the NFL is experiencing. However, retaining free agents will be more difficult than usual as their demand and price tags have escalated following the Ravens’ most recent Super Bowl victory.

During the “State of the Ravens” press conference, Newsome made it clear the team wouldn’t be making as strong an effort to keep the team together as they did following their 2000 Super Bowl victory in an effort to repeat. Newsome stated that the team has no plans to use the “Franchise” tag on any player other than Joe Flacco, though he still remains optimistic that they’ll get a deal done with the quarterback before the March 4 tag application deadline.

With Newsome identifying the middle of the defense as the team’s biggest need heading into the offseason, apart from resigning Flacco, the next priority players on the list are linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe. Still on the emotional high of being crowned world champions, both players expressed their desires to return to Baltimore but the chances of that happening aren’t likely.

The cash-strapped Ravens will be saving $4.35 million with Ray Lewis’ retirement and will reinvest that money back into the linebacking corp, but realistically can only afford to keep one player – not both.

Kruger has evolved into a solid pass rusher and will have a new contract heading into the prime of his career. During the regular season, he compiled 9.0 sacks and added half of that amount in a quarter of the games during the playoffs, including two sacks in the Super Bowl. For a defense that struggled to rush the passer for most of the season as Terrell Suggs recovered from a torn Achilles tendon, Kruger was critical – therefore, he has leverage.  The Ravens aren’t in a position to pay anywhere near the reported $7 million asking price for Kruger and it’s likely that another team will make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Resigning Ellerebe is a more realistic option for the Ravens and certainly is less of a gamble financially than Kruger. Ellerbe was the catalyst for the success of the Ravens defense as the team struggled mightily during his absence with an ankle injury. He returned during a Week 16 victory against the Giants and looked explosive, even though he told me privately his ankle wasn’t even 85%.

Contractually, Ellerbe should make more than the 3-years/$10.5 million the Ravens gave linebacker Jameel McClain this past offseason and likely wouldn’t exceed the $4.35 million per season the Ravens would have been obligated to pay Lewis.

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Kris Jones

About Kris Jones

Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He's been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM's MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He's caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth. Twitter: RavenManiac  More from Kris Jones
7 comments
danny eppard
danny eppard

Need to get Boldin locked up before both of these guys. I know he is signed but need to restructure his contract. So we can get Ellerbe locked for 4 or 5 more years, don't want to see either of them go. But I rather have Ellerbe than Kreuger!!

Allison
Allison

More impressed by Kruger - we need a true go getter on this team !

dana
dana

I dont like the fact that Kruger might not be here next year. Not a happy person right now

ravensean509@gmail.com
ravensean509@gmail.com

honestly it only annoys me that we sprung for mcclain's contact and now face paying fairly big money to both guys who fought for one spot for several seasons. IMO it was a waste of money to go that high on jameel........................

Matt
Matt

Whoever needs a refresher on how important Ellerbe is to our team, please watch the Super Bowl again and focus on Ellerbe's play. He didn't get near enough credit for how well he performed.

Josh
Josh

Here's hoping/praying we get a deal done with Flacco before the franchise tag deadline so we can attempt to re-sign Ellerbe. I 100% agree that he is a higher priority than Kruger.

Jimmypowder
Jimmypowder

Ellerbe,while sometimes injury prone, is a more well rounded linebacker then Kruger . Id love to keep them both but it aint gonna happen. Ill take Ellerbe.

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