While it’s unlikely that the Baltimore Ravens would like to see Dannell Ellerbe go, they have plenty of re-signings to do, and the Buffalo Bills, in need of someone who can play as inside linebacker, would love to try and go for the four year veteran.
However, the Ravens do see Ellerbe, who has been with the team since 2009, as an heir to Ray Lewis. He may not have as much of an impact right now as the retiring player, but most would agree that he can do a very good job in the middle and his ability to play all three downs and probably fitting the new system (back to 3-4 for the Bills) Mike Pettine is installing with the team.
While the Bills shouldn’t have too many problems filling in the outside linebacker role, using Mario Williams and moving him from defensive end, the market is very thin for inside linebackers. Ellerbe, 27, had a very good postseason run with the Ravens and impressed in the Super Bowl with his ability to handle Frank Gore during the first half of the game.
The Ravens have quite a few players they would like to keep, but there’s a chance that Paul Kruger gets ahead of Ellerbe on the priority list, and it seems that the Ravens won’t be able to retain both, unless some creative cap maneuvering is going to be involved, like the Dallas Cowboys are doing at the moment in their attempt to go under the salary cap.
If the Bills do manage to sign Ellerbe, that will give them a second premier defensive player to build around for the future after retaining Jairus Byrd with the franchise tag. Ellerbe isn’t the best athlete you’ll find at the position, but he’s the best in it among the free agents, but he can play on all three downs and should be able to adapt to the system Pettine wants to have in Buffalo.