Cleveland called the agents of Ravens free-agent linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe, sources told the Plain Dealer. Kruger, along with Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, are believed to be main targets for new coordinator Ray Horton's 3-4 scheme, the paper reported.
Ellerbe, who had a team-high nine tackles in the Super Bowl win over San Francisco, has said “my heart is here in Baltimore” and hopes to return. But the Ravens probably cannot afford Kruger, who is expected to command upward of $9 million annually. He had 4.5 sacks in the playoffs after making nine in the regular season.
The Browns finished last in the AFC North the past two years and have made the playoffs once since returning to the NFL in 1999. Cleveland ranked 19th in points allowed last season (23.0).
Cleveland hired Rob Chudzinski as head coach, bringing in Horton as defensive coordinator and Norv Turner to run the offense.
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