Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger during the blackout against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens have 4 big name players set to hit the free agent market on the 12th, and it appears the Colts and or Browns want every dingle one of them. The Colts have been a popular rumor destination for every Ravens defender the past two season since the defection of Chuck Pagano to be the teams head coach. As Such, Cary Williams, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Ed Reed have all been linked to the Colts with regularity. The Colts are also rumored to be interested in Arthur Jones if the Ravens put a second round or lower transition tag on him(Jones is an RFA).
It isnt really surprising that Pagano would target any of those players. He worked will all of them and knows they are a perfect fits for his scheme and style of play. Reed and Williams in particular would help out a poor Indy secondary and Kruger would replace the departing Dwight Freeny in the starting lineup.
The Browns have also been linked to multiple Ravens. Their primary interest appears to be Kruger. Kruger is one of the top players they will target in Free agency and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports believes they will end up in the 11-14 million per year range to get him. The Browns have also been linked to Cary Williams and Dannell Ellerbe. I am not sure exactly how well Ellerbe would fit into their scheme, but they could certainly use a no.2 CB upgrade and Williams would start immediately across from Joe haden.
In all reality, this isnt to much for Ravens fans to worry about. Williams and Kruger are gone no matter what and The Ravens already have other, better players on the roster to replace them. Jimmy Smith, when healthy, has vastly outperformed Cary Williams and Courtney Upshaw had pushed Paul Kruger into a situational pass rushing role by the end of the season because Upshaw is a far superior all around player. With a year or two more polish, Upshaw has shown he has the ability to be one of the best OLBs in the league. I also have a feeling the Ravens are highly unlikely to even make a real offer to Dannell Ellerbe before free agency starts. He reportedly wants about 9 million per year which is about 4 million more than he is worth. The biggest concern might be the rumor that the Colts would be willing to give up a second rounder for Art Jones. Jones is a pretty important part of a defensive line that is already pretty thin, he would be a big loss.