NFL Free agent tracker: Elvis Dumervil agrees to deal with Ravens; Patriots, Sebastian Vollmer close to deal

Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

Elvis Dumervil was taken off the free-agent market after agreeing to a deal with the Ravens, while the Patriots and Sebastian Vollmer are close to a deal. Here's a look at the activity over the weekend around the NFL.

Two of the top free agents could soon be off the market -- including one on each side of the ball. Elvis Dumervil agreed to a five-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, while the New England Patriots and Sebastian Vollmer are close to a deal.

With the top pass-rusher and offensive lineman soon to be off the market, the next dominoes should begin to fall quickly -- but first, here's a recap of what transpired over the weekend in the NFL.

Ravens, Dumervil agree to five-year deal

The Ravens' pass rush was supposed to get worse this offseason, with Paul Kruger leaving Baltimore after signing a five-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome snagged the top remaining pass-rusher on the market on Sunday, agreeing to terms with Dumervil.

Though he played defensive end the last two seasons in Denver, Dumervil will return to the outside linebacker position in Baltimore -- the same position he recorded 17 sacks at during the 2010 season. Dumervil will start opposite Terrell Suggs in Baltimore, forming one of the most potent pass-rushing tandems in all of the NFL.

Patriots, Vollmer close to deal

When free agency began weeks ago, the New England Patriots had three key free agents on the market: Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer. Many expected the Patriots to keep Welker, and perhaps watch the other two leave as free agents. The opposite, however, is true, as New England re-signed Talib and now reportedly is close to a deal with Vollmer, while watching Welker sign with the Broncos.

Vollmer was the top remaining offensive lineman on the market, and arguably the top offensive lineman available at the onset of free agency as well. Injuries limited Vollmer to just 12 games in 2012, but when healthy, Vollmer is one of the best right tackles in the NFL.

With Vollmer back in Foxboro, the Patriots will return all five starters on the offensive line.

Bears beef up linebacker corps, sign James Anderson

Chicago continued to revamp its linebacker corps over the weekend, as the Bears signed free-agent linebacker James Anderson, formerly of the Carolina Panthers.

Anderson spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in Carolina, but was released earlier in March. Carolina gave Anderson a five-year contract extension once the NFL lockout was lifted in 2011, but Anderson only survived two more years with the Panthers.

Anderson isn't a star, but is a solid player who will provide Chicago with quality depth at strong-side linebacker.

The Bears added D.J. Williams through free agency last week in addition to Anderson. The Bears announced earlier last week that they will move on without free-agent linebacker and franchise icon Brian Urlacher.

Cowboys host trio of free agents, have no money

Michael Huff, Will Allen and Jason Durant will visit with the Cowboys on Monday -- but that doesn't mean a deal is imminent. Dallas is stricken by financial woes, and does not have enough cap space to offer any of the three a contract.

The Cowboys need help at the safety position, and if Tony Romo or Anthony Spencer agrees to a contract extension, then the Cowboys could go out and sign either Huff or Allen.

Until Romo or Spencer agrees to a contract extension, the Cowboys will have no money to operate with going forward.

Broncos to pursue John Abraham, Dwight Freeney

Denver's loss is Baltimore's gain when it pertains to Elvis Dumervil -- but now the Broncos have to turn their attention to replacing their pass-rushing specialist. Denver has turned its interest to signing either John Abraham or Dwight Freeney to replace Dumervil in Denver -- and both make sense for the Broncos.

Abraham is arguably the best pass-rusher left on the free-agent market, and is coming off a solid 2012 campaign, in which he recorded 10 sacks.

Freeney, however, is former teammates with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning -- and Manning already attempted to recruit Freeney to Denver earlier this offseason. Freeney wasn't as strong as Abraham in 2012, but moved to outside linebacker under Chuck Pagano's new defense in 2012, after years as a defensive end.

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