The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have made linebacker Dannell Ellerbe their priority and expect outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who led the team in sacks, to draw so much interest in free agency that he will sign with another team.
An undrafted free agent in 2009, Ellerbe is coming off his best season, one in which he recorded career highs of 92 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
A source said the Cleveland Browns are definitely prepared to try to sign Kruger. However, they will confront intense competition from the Indianapolis Colts, who will attempt to persuade Kruger to rejoin Chuck Pagano, the former Ravens defensive coordinator and current Colts head coach.
According to a source, the Colts have targeted Kruger as the replacement for Dwight Freeney, the franchise's career sack leader who also hits the market next week. Kruger, a 2009 second-round pick, collected a career-high nine sacks this past season.
Freeney told ESPN he has not yet decided on a list of teams to visit.
In other Ravens news, the team terminated the contract of guard Bobbie Williams, who played in all four playoff games for the Super Bowl champions.
The 36-year-old Williams played 13 regular-season games with Baltimore after signing as a free agent before the 2012 season. The 13-year veteran played previously for Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
"Bobbie is first-class in every way. ... We thank him for helping us win the championship," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.