Greg Ellis has been a consistent force for the Dallas Cowboys for over a decade. His lowest sack total is three in 11 NFL seasons. Now, he's an unrestricted free agent.
He won't be for long though, with the Patriots rumored to be looking for a defensive end and also rumored to be interested in trading for the Raiders' former Pro Bowler Derrick Burgess.
Ellis has played strong side linebacker in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme and also has experience playing as a 4-3 defensive end. He's listed at 262 pounds and could be the guy to push young underachiever Jay Richardson, or supplant him if given a chance in Oakland.
Ellis has been known to be a great mentor to the younger players around him, and who wouldn't look up to a guy that has had 20.5 sacks in the past two years at the age of 33? He was named Comeback Player of the Year in 2007 for a reason. A lot of people thought he was close to done, but his play and numbers don't lie.
If the Raiders were to bring Ellis in, he would instantly be the favorite to start at strong side linebacker or at defensive end. With inexperienced rookies Matt Shaughnessy, Stryker Sulak, and Slade Norris, he could provide some much-needed leadership and be a mentor, not only to them, but also to young and upcoming end Trevor Scott.
The Raiders' only big end is Richardson (280 pounds), who the Raiders have been hoping will come into his own ever since drafting him in the fifth round in 2007. He hasn't been able to be consistent, and Ellis could be just the guy to push him into being a better player, or push him onto the bench.
The reality of it all is the Raiders don't have a consistent power end (all of their ends are pass rushers besides Richardson) or a linebacker worthy of starting at strong side linebacker (at least not yet). Ellis could come in, start immediately, and not just keep to himself like the Raiders' veteran end Burgess.
With Burgess in a contract year, this could be a great signing for the Raiders—especially if there is any truth to the trade rumors of Burgess to New England.
Ellis probably would play for less at this stage in his career, but don't be surprised if the Raiders give him a sweeter offer if they are indeed interested and are in a race with other teams for his services.
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