Free Agent: Dannell Ellerbe
Born: 11/29/1985, in Hamlet, NC
Rookie Year: 2009
Former Team: Baltimore Ravens
The Miami Dolphins have acquired Dannell Ellerbe, an inside linebacker that was expected to be Ray Lewis's replacement in Baltimore after his tremendous performance in late 2012, as well as through the playoffs and the Superbowl.
The acquisition of Ellerbe was part of a series of unexpected moves that included the departure of Karlos Dansby. Ellerbe is younger than Dansby and signed for a smaller contract. The terms were 5 years, $35 million, while Danbsy was playing out the final two years of a 5 year, $43 million deal.
How Ellerbe will fit into a 4-3 defense, and exactly which linebacker position he will be playing, remains to be seen.
However, as a 3-4 inside linebacker with the Ravens, Ellerbe played at a high level, ranking 14th in 2012, right behind Karlos Dansby.
As you can see by the PFF analysis below, Ellerbe is an emerging player who stepped it up as the season went on.