The Miami Dolphins continue to be active on the first day of NFL free agency, agreeing to a deal with former Baltimore linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, according to a report from Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Ellerbe will sign a five-year contract worth $35 million. The acquisition of Ellerbe is Miami's second major move of the day, as the Dolphins agreed to a deal with wide receiver Mike Wallace earlier in the day. Ellerbe was one of the top linebackers on the market after playing his way into a starting role last season. He was one of the Ravens' best defensive players during Baltimore's Super Bowl run. Ellerbe started seven games last season, but finished the season with 92 total tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Ellerbe's departure from Baltimore is a big blow for the Ravens, who were reportedly working hard to re-sign Ellerbe. After signing Joe Flacco to a long-term contract, Ellerbe was considered to be one of Baltimore's top free agent priorities. According to a report from Albert Breer on the NFL Network, Baltimore offered Ellerbe a long-term contract on Tuesday, but Ellerbe decided to head to Miami instead.
With Ellerbe in Miami and Ray Lewis retired, the Ravens will now have to replace both of their starting middle linebackers from the Super Bowl.