Thursday, February 21, 2013
Ellerbe's 2013 team
By Tim Kavanagh
As you might've heard, the Baltimore Ravens are saying goodbye to ILB Ray Lewis this offseason, as he's elected to retire. So finding a replacement for Lewis is a priority. Unfortunately for the Ravens, he's not the only ILB that may be leaving: Dannell Ellerbe is an impending free agent, and it's no certainty that he'll be signing a new deal to stay with the Super Bowl champs.
"I'm sitting down with them, and I hope we'll have some constructive talks," Ellerbe's agent Hadley Engelhard confirmed this week regarding talks with the team at the scouting combine, per the Baltimore Sun. "Hopefully, that all goes in the right direction."
But, if it doesn't, he's confident in his client being a sought after commodity by other clubs: "I think Dannell has proven himself to be one of the elite young linebackers in the NFL. His best football is in front of him. Hopefully, there's a home for him in Baltimore. If not, I'm sure plenty of other teams will be happy to have him on their roster."
The issue for Baltimore -- as it is for any of their impending free agents -- is the price tag: with Joe Flacco, Ed Reed, Cary Williams and others hitting free agency along with Ellerbe, there may not be room under the cap. The Ravens are expected to release or re-structure the contracts of some veterans prior to the start of the league year, and this will determine how many of their own FAs they're able to bring back.