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Potential New York Giants Free Agent Target: Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe

February 9th, 2013 at 6:30 AM
By Kyle Langan

The NFL likes to make life difficult on its defending world championship teams. For the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Joe Flacco will want a new contract, wide receiver Anquan Boldin has a cap number over $7 million, safety Ed Reed is a free agent, linebacker Paul Kruger is a free agent, wide receiver Jacoby Jones is a free agent and linebacker Ray Lewis is retiring.

While those are some of the bigger names that the Ravens have to worry about, there are some other more "under the radar" names that may be intriguing to the New York Giants. Particularly middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

Jameel McClain sat out the postseason with a spinal cord injury, but prior to that, he was the Ravens primary presence against the run. Even with Ray Lewis hanging them up, Ellerbe may be the one player the Ravens find it tough to keep.

At the ripe age of 27, Ellerbes stock has risen at exactly the right moment. The 6'1", 245 pound Ellerbe was built for todays NFL. He has fantastic range when dropping into zone coverage and sticks with people in man to man coverage. He posted 32 tackles in the postseason to go along with an interception and was constantly around the football. 

Though the chances are slim that the Giants go off the beaten path and sign him, he fits what they need without question. Ellerbe is a young, proven player with the skill set to be the anchor of the interior of a defense for some time.

Do the Giants have youth at this position? Yes. They could opt to gamble on Mark Herzlich or Spencer Paysinger moving forward. Those two have flashed some ability in their first two seasons and may be worth the risk.

The Giants do have needs in the secondary, along the defensive line, and also on the offensive line. Jerry Reese likes to head into draft day with some of the biggest needs addressed so that he can pick the best player available without pressure.

Expect this trend to continue and the Giants to address some of these positions before the draft. 

photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc

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Tags: Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens, Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed, Football, Jerry Reese, Joe Flacco, Mark Herzlich, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Paul Kruger, Ray Lewis, Spencer Paysinger

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9 Responses to “Potential New York Giants Free Agent Target: Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe”

  1.  percellovesgiants says:

    I think he would want to much money, coming off a superbowl win.

  2.  GIANTT says:

    So , anyway , I have an excuse for being up this early -percell whats yours –

    4 am this morning my cell phone went of sounding like a klaxon alarm air raid siren warning me that a blizzard was coming – I kid you not .I would have thrown it out the window but it was closed (snowing outside ) So I spent an eternity looking for the off button before it woke my wife .

    As far as Ellerbe goes -I dont see the Giants who love getting value for money being willing or maybe even able to get someone like him unless they cut someone because Ellerbe provides much better value .

    •  G-MenFan says:

      “As far as Ellerbe goes -I dont see the Giants who love getting value for money being willing or maybe even able to get someone like him unless they cut someone because Ellerbe provides much better value .”

      Wanting value doesn’t preclude Reese taking a run at Ellerbee. Everybody loves a bargain, but a bargain and value are not always the same. We’ve seen Reese value free agents to the point of giving them lucrative contracts, e.g. Rolle and Baas. Depending on what he sees out there in the FA market, what he sees on his roster, and what he sees in the draft…I could see him getting a player like this on the inside.

  3.  GIANTT says:

    I see that the Giants this year will have an “easy schedule ” and that last year was rated very tough as it should be expected for the reigning Super Bowl champions at the time .Difficulty of schedule and the fact that even the poor teams wanted to show their fans that things werent that bad and that they could put a beatin on the Giants resulted in a 9-7 record . So perhaps this year the Giants will pick up an extra game or two without paying with a Lombardi trophy target on their back

  4.  GIANTT says:

    playing

  5.  Krow says:

    I’m going against the grain … but I don’t think a FA signing is such a remote possibility. Oh sure, we won’t go crazy. But if they feel there’s a difference maker out there then it wouldn’t surprise me to see them make a play.

    The cap bedevils all teams … especially successful ones. It’s a fact of life in the NFL … but it can be managed. They can make room if they want to. Boley, Bradshaw, and Canty just opened a boatload of space. Others can be culled as well. I’m not saying the cap isn’t a factor … it certainly is. But there are strategies … and tactical moves that can be made. It’s not impossible … if you’re smart, clever, and patient.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      Agreed. He’s lopping off contracts at a pretty good pace and we know there’s more to come. He is definitely making cap room for a couple of FA signings. I don’t think he’s doing it just to clear the required room to sign draft picks.

      •  Krow says:

        Free Agency is about filling specific holes. As opposed to the draft and UDFA signings which are wide-focused talent hunts.

        We need help at DE, CB, DT, OL, and LB. DE and CB are the target of bidding wars and mega-contracts. We’re not going to dive into that. However the other 3 markets are much softer … and much cheaper.

        There’s a lot of dust in the air at DT … Rodgers, Kuhn, Austin … so I expect the draft to be the tool to upgrade there.

        That leaves OL and LB as the potential FA areas … and Ellerbe is as good a thought as any.

  6.  Lafayette Melton says:

    Im much more partial to Philip Wheeler over Ellerbe. Plus he’d be undoubtedly cheaper.

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