Ravens might not be able to keep Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe

AP

For much of this season, there’s been discussion about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s pending free agency and what kind of contract he’ll work out to remain in Baltimore.

The discussions have always been framed around the offense, but the decision will have a big impact on the defense as well. If the Ravens use the franchise tag on Flacco, it will hinder their ability to hold onto linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe after this season. Both players played higher profile roles this season because of injuries and both of them did well enough that it would be difficult for the Ravens to lose them from a defense that may be saying goodbye to both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

“Everything that I could possibly want is here, but it’s a business,” Ellerbe said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “It’s not up to me. If it was up to me, I’d be here.”

With Lewis retiring and Jameel McClain coming off an injury, keeping Ellerbe from leaving seems like something the Ravens have to do but his play might lead to bigger offers from other teams. Kruger expressed similar sentiments, but pass rushers always draw a premium on the open market. That’s why Kruger would likely be a franchise tag candidate if the Ravens don’t use it on Flacco.

The Ravens have more pressing matters to deal with than contracts right now, but it won’t be long after the end of their season before they turn their attention to continuing a run that’s sent them to the playoffs in each of their last five seasons.

24 responses to “Ravens might not be able to keep Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe

  1. I’m really hoping that the Ravens have to use the tag on Flacco, leaving Kruger unrestricted. That way the Colts can throw a big offer at him and re-unite him with coach Pagano and pair him with Robert Mathis on the outside. If not him, Ellerbe could be a good fit too, him and Jerrell Freeman would make a good inside duo.

  2. Kruger is a much better player when Suggs is in the game. His sack numbers while Suggs was injured were far below what they were after Suggs came back. Sizzle clearly draws the blocking scheme to him which frees up Kruger.

  3. Sad but true. Unless Ravens do some cap friendly deals with Suggs and Ngata, they both arent staying. This is what happens when you build talent and depth unlike some third place, 8-8 teams in the division, fading into irrelevancy

  4. Here’s the catch-22: If the Ravens were to win the Super Bowl, Flacco would have all the leverage in the world, which could mean a fairly drawn out process in getting his new contract. That means the Ravens’ hands would also be tied when it comes to Kruger and Ellerbe. Ozzie couldn’t consider using the franchise tag on either of them since he’d have to focus on keeping his quarterback first and foremost. I hope the Ravens can keep at least one of those two guys, but a lot of that hinges upon how long it takes Flacco to get his deal.

  5. I’d say Kruger is better at his position than Ellerbe (who has injury issues). That being said, Courtney Upshaw, Paul Kruger, and Sugg creates a logjam at the OLB position. something has got to give and I highly doubt they are going to give up on Upshaw or move Suggs. None are viable options to move to the D line. None will be willing to play part time (except Upshaw of course since he’s still growing but I don’t see it happening). None can move to ILB. So I see Kruger hitting FA, offer Ellerbe a deal, and if he finds better elsewhere? So be it. We’ve been able to fill gaps on this D successfully for so long now (see Arthur Jones, Pernell McPhee, Corey Graham, Chykie Brown, etc.) that I don’t think Oz will have an issue here, especially looking at the draft board and what will be available late in the first round.

    And as for Reed (since we seem to think he’s gone) there’s speculation of moving CB bust Jimmy Smith to FS, which I think is genius. Another hole filled already.

  6. troysmithsghost says:
    Jan 16, 2013 9:22 AM
    Old, slow, and inadequate. Next year they will finish below .500, mark my words.

    —————————————————

    Jiminy Christmas, do you even know what you’re talking about? With Ray Lewis retiring and Ed Reed either retiring or leaving the team as a free agent, do you even know how many players the Ravens will have over the age of 30 on next year’s roster? They will have a max of 7, and that’s assuming they keep the likes of McKinnie, Boldin, and Birk. Suggs turns 30 later this year, and Ngata will be 29. The team is anything but old.

    Now if you want to talk about how insanely tough their schedule will be next season, I’ll listen. I actually think they very well could go 8-8 because of the opponents they’ll face, but it’s got nothing to do with being “old, slow, and inadequate.”

  7. Sad but true. Unless Ravens do some cap friendly deals with Suggs and Ngata, they both arent staying. This is what happens when you build talent and depth unlike some third place, 8-8 teams in the division, fading into irrelevancy

    Aren’t you the ravenator saying the steelers had cap problems? ….
    Do you ever read what you post?

    The joke is you…. Yikes

  8. Newsome’s team is still playing and playing for it all. so these are good problems to have and I’m certain he will work it out for the betterment of his squad. ravens 34 patties 31

  9. Werent you saying ravens will lose to denver haha jokes on you. I post a solution even though I do not agree with it and you continuously ranting as if you know anything about football. Bored because there are no steelers articles? If your team wasnt a pathetic 8-8 they might still be relevant. Enjoy watching us, again. Cheers!

  10. @nofoolnodrool:
    The Steelers are $10.8Mil over the cap
    The Ravens are $15.1Mil under the cap!!! Restructring deals of Ngata, and Suggs would free up money, as would signing Flacco long term. As far as Kruger and Ellerbe, he (Ellerbe) is more important than Kruger. For the money Kruger is looking for, I don’t see him getting $40Mil with about $8Mil per season for a guy that’s basically a situational pass rusher.

  11. ravensfan996 says:
    Jan 16, 2013 2:54 PM
    @nofoolnodrool:
    The Steelers are $10.8Mil over the cap
    The Ravens are $15.1Mil under the cap!!! Restructring deals of Ngata, and Suggs would free up money, as would signing Flacco long term. As far as Kruger and Ellerbe, he (Ellerbe) is more important than Kruger. For the money Kruger is looking for, I don’t see him getting $40Mil with about $8Mil per season for a guy that’s basically a situational pass rusher.

    1 0 I brought up the obvious hypocrite in ravenator and his ensuing rant proved it. I could care less about the ravens cap details or the steelers for that matter. Each team will be under the cap at the start of the season so they will deal with the consequences to get there.

  12. Keep Ellerbe lets Kruger go Upshaw can replace him…the real worry is who the new free safety will be…also Webb returns…Offense stays the same…Ravens are fine.

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