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Dolphins Free Agent Signings: Insider Look at Dannell Ellerbe

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On Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins signed linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, stealing him from the Baltimore Ravens who wanted the four year veteran back. After the signing, I turned to Bruce Raffel, the Manager of SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown, for more on Ellerbe.

Jim McIsaac
He appeared destined to be the next great Ravens linebacker but the team could not match the huge contract offered by the Miami Dolphins and now will fade into obscurity in the minds of Ravens fans. -Bruce Raffel on Dannell Ellerbe

On Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins put the NFL on notice that they are looking to turn the franchise around right now with the signing of former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. The Ravens were said to have the re-signing of Ellerbe as their priority this year, with the intent of making the four year veteran the replacement for the retired Ray Lewis. Instead, the Dolphins snapped Ellerbe up, starting the complete transformation of the linebacker corps that happened on Tuesday.

That day the Dolphins signed Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, while releasing Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett.

Turning back to Ellerbe, I asked Bruce Raffel, the manager of SB Nation's Ravens blog, Baltimore Beatdown, for his thoughts on Ellerbe. Unfortunately, in all of the madness of the day, I never got around to posting his response. We fix that this morning.

Dannell Ellerbe was originally projected to be a mid-round draft pick but the combination of injury and off-the-field issues dropped him out of the 2009 draft and the Ravens signed him as an undrafted free agent. Ellerbe competed with another undrafted free agent, Jameel McClain for playing time next to Ray Lewis but McClain got most of the reps.

Dannell was injured for parts of the 2011 and 2012 season but proved he deserved to start in a breakout 2012 season, and then stepped it up big time in the post season. He appeared destined to be the next great Ravens linebacker but the team could not match the huge contract offered by the Miami Dolphins and now will fade into obscurity in the minds of Ravens fans along with Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas, Jarret Johnson, and Paul Kruger.

A big thanks to Raffel for taking the time to give us a look at Ellerbe. And check out Baltimore Beatdown for all things Ravens.