Now that the Baltimore Ravens have lost Ray Lewis to retirement, they can’t afford to keep losing inside linebackers. And Ellerbe feels an attachment to the organization that signed him as an undrafted free agent 4 years ago for a mere $2,000. And that loyalty has him bleeding purple and certainly anyone would feel that way after his journey which now includes a Super Bowl ring.
“I’ve come a long way,” Ellerbe told The Baltimore Sun. “It’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish.”
He just witnessed first hand one of the most extraordinary careers end in Ray Lewis, a man who remained a Raven for life unlike so many pros now who switch teams.
Some say he could command between $25-$30 million on the open market as one of the top linebackers. The Ravens reportedly are interested in getting him an offer before the start of free agency to avoid a bidding war. But if it comes to that, Ellerbe’s statements seem to indicate he might give the Ravens a hometown discount to stay.
“There’s always a chance, and that’s what I’m hoping will happen,” Ellerbe said. “The Ravens are a perfect situation for me. Hopefully, it’s a perfect situation for me to sign on the dotted line.”
And with Ray Lewis gone he could become the man in Baltimore.
“That’s big,” Ellerbe said. “It’s a huge opportunity with Ray retiring. Getting paid isn’t everything I want out of playing football. I want to get the accolades. I want the Pro Bowls. I got enough years left in me. So, this is just the beginning.”