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Besides Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens have a significant amount of key free agents this offseason. The two most important free agents that they need to bring back though are Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe.
Kruger was by far the Ravens' best pass-rusher this season. He recorded nine sacks during the regular season, and throughout the postseason, he has already notched another 2.5 sacks.
Kruger is going to demand a big contract because he is one of the elite pass-rushers on the market, but the Ravens know that he is worth it. He's gotten better every year he has been in the NFL and without him on their defense, the Ravens will have very little of a pass-rush presence.
Ellerbe also needs to be brought back simply because Ray Lewis is no longer going to suiting up anymore and he is the second best inside linebacker on their roster. With Ray retiring, the Ravens need to keep Ellerbe because he has shown this season that he can be a very productive linebacker in the NFL.
In 13 games this season, Ellerbe has recorded 92 tackles and 4.5 sacks. If the Ravens can lock up Ellerbe to a contract, they will have him and Jameel McClain as their starting inside linebackers. These two have shown in the past that they can fill in for Lewis when he has gone down with an injury.
If the Ravens fail to bring back one of these free agents, expect them to use an early draft pick to find their replacement.