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Browns have talked to agents for Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Getty Images

The last-place team in the AFC North is going after two of the top defensive players from the first-place team in the AFC North.

The Browns have already contacted the agents for Ravens linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Cleveland appears ready to make formal contract offers to the two Ravens as soon as free agency starts on Tuesday afternoon.

Kruger appears to be a strong candidate to end up in Cleveland. The Browns are in hot pursuit, and the Ravens seem to have already resigned themselves to the fact that they don’t have enough salary cap space to keep him.

Ellerbe, however, still seems to have a decent chance of staying in Baltimore. Once the Ravens worked out a long-term deal with Joe Flacco, Ellerbe became their top target to keep in free agency. If they want to keep him, they may need to out-bid the Browns.

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35 Responses to “Browns have talked to agents for Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger”
  1. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 10, 2013 7:56 AM

    LOL! The Browns are great.

  2. voiceofreason says: Mar 10, 2013 8:13 AM

    But not Avril?….I want the Browns to pay him 10m per year, I really do…..

  3. ketch20too says: Mar 10, 2013 8:16 AM

    Any player going to the Browns proves the lie that “its not about the money”

  4. riceforpres27 says: Mar 10, 2013 8:21 AM

    Maybe he will disappear like jarret Johnson did when he left!! But hey he’ll be paid!

  5. cdent4 says: Mar 10, 2013 8:23 AM

    Any player going to the Browns proves the lie that “its not about the money”

    True statement. Couldn’t agree more. Although I have nothing against the Browns, they are faaaar from being a Superbowl, much less a playoff, caliber team. So anyone that goes to a team like that is definitely lying when they say it’s not for money.

  6. bmoresabres says: Mar 10, 2013 8:39 AM

    Bye, bye Kruger. As a Ravens fan, Kruger will be no big lost. He’s a one dimensional player and lacks versatility. I remembered when Gary Baxter went to the clowns. How did that turn out? Teams that sign Ravens free agents rarely get anything out of them. Here a short list: Adalius Thomas, Duane Starks, Kim Herring, Ed Hartwell, Jarrett Johnson, Laron Landry, et al. These aforementioned players all made more money playing for their respective new teams, but provide no major impact. Priest Holmes is the only former Ravens player to produce for the Chiefs as a Ravens free agent, so buyer beware.

  7. gorwr12 says: Mar 10, 2013 8:56 AM

    I think you meant Dawan Landry. Did Ben Grubbs have another pro bowl year? I never heard his name either.

  8. logast says: Mar 10, 2013 9:10 AM

    The contract signed by Flacco will haunt Baltimore in a few years. Much like Drew Brees’ will do to the Saints.

    Good luck fielding a competitive team when you cannot afford the better free agents.

  9. wryly1 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:11 AM

    Between retirements, age and free agency, Ravens will be a very different team next year that may not even make the playoffs.

  10. audient says: Mar 10, 2013 9:13 AM

    >Teams that sign Ravens free agents rarely get anything out of them. Here a short list: Adalius Thomas, Duane Starks, Kim Herring, Ed Hartwell, Jarrett Johnson, Laron Landry, et al. These aforementioned players all made more money playing for their respective new teams, but provide no major impact.

    Ever hear of Jamal Lewis or Willis McGahee?

  11. R3D says: Mar 10, 2013 9:33 AM

    As a browns fan I would take ellerbe but not Kruger. Kruger in my eyes is a decent pass rusher and that’s it he was terrible against the run and needs Suggs on the other side to be effective. He is not a number 1 pass rusher which we need.

  12. cowboys4203 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:41 AM

    Bmoresabres, I think you meant Dawan Landry not Laron Landry, but you are right most of the Ravens free agents have done nothing after leaving the team.

  13. stevez51 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:46 AM

    Jamal was never the same after going to Cleve. McGahee was hurt most of the year in Denver.

    FA is only good if you need that 1 piece to complete your team. Signing 4-5 players each year doesn’t help your TEAM…

  14. bkh405 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:49 AM

    Sure they’ll enjoy a payday. Mayne they also have confidence in their skill though and think they can help the Browns become contenders? You guys just thrashing the Browms are chumps.

  15. barbasol11111111 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:49 AM

    So the browns plan to throw 60m at a guy who didn’t play every down for the ravens last year, does so because he’s only a situational pass rusher at best, and it’s because he had 1/2 of a good year?

    LOL

    I thought Lombardi was supposed to be a smart GM

  16. poesports says: Mar 10, 2013 10:09 AM

    Ever hear of Jamal Lewis or Willis McGahee?

    I believe he was referring to players that the Ravens have drafted. In that case he would be correct. Players who leave dont usually do as well. I would add Bart Scott to the list as well. I will miss Kruger but he has no logical choice. He has a ring and he wants money now. I would argue however that he goes to an organization that clearly has not been competitive in years. Could he be a piece of the puzzle? We shall see.

  17. scoobies05 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:11 AM

    the ravens rarely go after the so called big name free agents. they prefer to do things smartly….keep their own when they can and look for bargains after all the other teams have spent their money. and looking at this years free agency with a cap thats not moving there will be lots of bargains. and joe’s cap number is 6.8 million this year…this in no way inhibits them. go ravens

  18. rocketcrab says: Mar 10, 2013 10:20 AM

    I’ll give you Willis, but Jamal didn’t do much in Cleveland.

  19. 216ty says: Mar 10, 2013 10:28 AM

    Sounds like the haters r getting an early start. U sign players to get better. I love when teams lose key players that fans cry how they don’t need them or that they r overrated. Lol

  20. philahitman says: Mar 10, 2013 10:37 AM

    Since half of the Browns FO worked for Philadelphia recently you would think they learned what happens building a roster on free agents.

  21. stephenolszewski says: Mar 10, 2013 10:53 AM

    In Cleveland Jamal wasn’t the same player he was in Baltimore but the first two years there he had over 1,000 yards and 9 TDs in 07. So he was better than any RB they had there since 99 which isn’t too hard to beat considering they had guys like Terry Kirby, Lee Suggs, and William Green

  22. willbrownimaging says: Mar 10, 2013 11:14 AM

    I don’t like the Browns, but at least they are identifying young players that are heading into their prime.

    I agree that Kruger is much better rushing the passer than against the run, and is better with another quality rusher across from him (who isn’t?)…but I think Jabaal Sheard is a nice young player who will be better in the 34 than he was at DE in the 4-3.

    We’ll see how it goes. It’s not like the Browns are the only team in the market for those two guys, but if Cleveland WAS to sign them, they would have spent their money wisely in my opinion.

  23. coop16 says: Mar 10, 2013 11:17 AM

    The Browns are going to sign a player or two to a big-money contract for four reasons:

    (1) The NFL salary cap doesn’t just have a ceiling; it also has a floor, and the Browns are way below that floor. They need to spend some money or they’ll be in violation of salary cap rules.

    (2) Banner and Lombardi need to show their boss, Jimmy Haslam, that they’re trying.

    (3) The Browns need to give a ray of hope to a long-abused fan base before that fan base decides to start rooting for roller derby or pro wrestling instead.

    (4) The Browns have so many holes to fill that they can’t fill even half of them through the draft alone.

    Those of us who pay attention realize that signing a big-name free agent or two is most about P.R.; we aren’t foolish enough to think that the signings will make the Browns contenders. We’re just foolish enough to root for the Browns.

  24. jacktheraven says: Mar 10, 2013 11:27 AM

    They’ll both be good for the Browns. The fear is, that they’ll overpay. Kruger was not a 3 down player. Not that great against the run. He’ll probably get 9-10 mil. That’s too much. Ellerbe is very good. He’ll get paid, probably by the Ravens.

  25. dawglb says: Mar 10, 2013 12:08 PM

    I don’t want either. Drive up the price on both, but please don’t really try to sign them. Kruger is a one-hit wonder, the other guy could be one as well. Let’s get a deal done with Avril in Detroit.. That guy is a stud.

  26. billsfan1 says: Mar 10, 2013 12:09 PM

    Marv Levy once said, the best Free Agents are your own”. There is some truth to that. Every year there are plenty of free agents swapping teams and in reality, how many are worth the money they get. I am not saying plenty havent worked out but teams really should be aware.

    Free Agency is really only effective if you are signing one or two “big time” guys or a few role players.

    teams that build through the draft and sign mid level free agents tend to do better than those that over pay for the top guys…

  27. polo550 says: Mar 10, 2013 12:32 PM

    The fear that I have for the Ravens or any team that signs Ellerbe is that he tends to be lazy. That’s part of the reason that he went undrafted. He sat on the bench prior to last year because of his bad practice habits and probably wouldn’t have seen much playing time this past year if the LB Corp wasn’t so decimated with injuries. If he’s lazy and lethargic when he doesn’t have the big contract, look out once he gets paid. Plus he’s always injured. As a Ravens fan I would let him get his big payday elsewhere and draft a MLB with the 32nd pick in the draft. As for Kruger he’s definitely gone. The Ravens won’t overpay for a situational pass rusher. Never been their style. He’s awful against the run and he lost his spot to a rookie.

  28. egomaniac247 says: Mar 10, 2013 12:59 PM

    LOL at Ravens fans saying “no big loss”

    Dude was on fire in the playoffs.

  29. clebrowns216 says: Mar 10, 2013 2:32 PM

    Whoever says that the Browns are FAAAR away from being in the playoffs has no clue what they’re talking about. And whoever thinks they are building through Free Agency also has no clue what they are talking about. It couldn’t be further from what the Browns are doing/have done.

    The Browns are probably a season away from being a playoff team especially considering the Raven and Steelers are just getting older and going downhill while the Browns are one of the youngest teams and FINALLY on the upswing. The browns were in every single game last season and that was with the sh*ttiest head coach/play caller at the healm.

    The Ravens are morons if they don’t re-sign Bolden cuz he is the reason why Flacco looked so good in the playoffs. Bailed him out on countless occasions. They will regret that ridiculous contract they gave Flacco.

    But as far as Kruger I don’t want him. I think paying him a lot of money is a huge mistake. I would much rather have Avril and they need a corner or 2 in free agency. And they should draft Dion Jordan at 6.

    Browns haters keep hating. I’ll be the first to tell you how sh*tty they have been, I’m not one of those delusional fans. But they are finally going upward. And once we find a QB watch out.

  30. ppdoc13 says: Mar 10, 2013 3:05 PM

    Miami. Horribillt is a horrific team sign sale is tedv. V

  31. dishepo says: Mar 10, 2013 4:05 PM

    Browns are accumulating a TON of young defensive talent (Taylor, Sheard, Rubin, Winn, DQJ, Ward, Haden), now have the most cap room and a #6. They’ll add a #2 corner, pass rusher, ILB, and FS easily and at high levels. Based on Steeler/Ravens losses, Browns could easily have best D in AFC North.

  32. getyourownname says: Mar 10, 2013 5:05 PM

    Ravens drafted Jamal Lewis, but not McGahee who cam(e via trade (draft picks).

    Ravens don’t have to outbid Browns, they just have to make reasonable offer if Ellerbe wants a good shot at winning next year. If he signs with Ravens, bet the media reports he turned down a larger offer from Browns.

  33. clebrowns216 says: Mar 10, 2013 5:30 PM

    Don’t know enough about Ellerbe to comment on whether he would stay for less money, but definitely possible.

    But depending on the talent that the Browns add, how well we make the switch to 3-4, and whether Horton is as good as advertised, Browns could definitely have best D in the AFC North.

    But that’s depending on quite a bit…

  34. tsr3000 says: Mar 10, 2013 7:48 PM

    We are gonna score Ellerbe, Avril and Lewis. Then……the division is ours.

  35. hitdog042 says: Mar 10, 2013 9:00 PM

    Coop16 there is no yearly salary floor. It’s a rolling average of 4 years. They can be under the floor as long as they make up for it.

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