Share This Page
NFL

Ravens suffer key losses to free agency

| Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 9:18 p.m.
AP file
Former Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger looks up after sacking Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Kruger signed with the Browns on Tuesday.

The Baltimore Ravens are paying the price for winning a Super Bowl.

The NFL champions lost two key components of their defense, linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe as free agency began Tuesday. On Monday, they traded star receiver Anquan Boldin, a key to their title run, to San Francisco.

Kruger went north to division rival Cleveland for a five-year, $40 million deal, while Ellerbe headed south to Miami for $35 million over five years.

The Browns also added former Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, signing him to a five-year, $34 million deal.

The Ravens signed free agent defensive end Chris Canty, 30,who spent the previous four seasons with the New York Giants.

The 49ers didn't go untouched, either. They saw tight end Delanie Walker leave for Tennessee.

Kruger led the Ravens with nine sacks and added 2½ in the playoffs and two in the Super Bowl. But he was too expensive for Baltimore to keep.

• Denver ensured that Peyton Manning will be the Broncos' quarterback through at least 2014. The four-time MVP's contract called for a guaranteed salary of $20 million in 2013 and '14 if he was on the Denver roster Tuesday. The final two years of his contract are worth $19 million.

• The Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with tight end Anthony Fasano, a three-year, $12.6 million contract with defensive tackle Mike DeVito, and a three-year deal with Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel.

• Teams also made cuts. The biggest were Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo and Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia.

The Bills' starting quarterback was released 1½ years after getting a six-year, $59 million contract extension. The Bills went 6-10 in 2011 and in 2012.

Bills general manager Buddy Nix said: “Difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward. Our focus remains on adding another quarterback to our roster, and we will continue to explore every option available to us.”

• Philadelphia released cornerback Asomugha, who two years ago got a five-year, $60 million contract with $24 million guaranteed when he left Oakland as a free agent. The Raiders cut ties with two former first-round picks by releasing starting receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive back Michael Huff.

• Earlier, Tony Gonzalez changed his mind and decided to return to the Falcons. The NFL's career leader among tight ends in receptions and touchdowns said he was 95 percent certain he would retire after 2012, but the other 5 percent won out.

Gonzalez tweeted: “The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up.”

• Elsewhere, former Steelers running back Chris Rainey, released by the team after being arrested in January and charged with one count of simple battery, was back in Gainesville on Tuesday, watching former teammates take part in Pro Day. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin were on hand for the workouts, but it was unclear whether Rainey spoke with them.

• The Jets restructured wide receiver Santonio Holmes' contract to free up cap space. He was due to make $11 million with $7.5 million guaranteed.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.