8:41 PM EDT, March 24, 2013
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: You knew at some point the Ravens would strike in the free agent market, and they did in a big way Sunday night, agreeing in principle on a five-year deal with Elvis Dumervil. With both of their starting inside linebackers, one of their starting corners and both their starting safeties gone from last year, the Ravens obviously still have some work to do. But they have helped their run defense with the addition of Chris Canty and Marcus Spears and their pass rush could be scary with Dumervil and the healthy trio of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee. The way the deal is structured will still leave the Ravens with about $5 million of salary cap. You'd have to look long and hard to find a downside to this deal. When Dumervil takes his physical and signs his contract Tuesday, the Ravens will automatically become a far more dangerous defense.
Aaron Wilson, reporter: The Ravens just upgraded their front seven in a major way with the acquisition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Elvis Dumervil. It's a five-year contract with a maximum value of $35 million, including an affordable first-year salary cap figure of $2.5 million as he'll make $8.5 million in the first year of the deal. Dumervil is a relentless defender who has combined for 37 sacks in the past three seasons with 10 forced fumbles during that span. Between Terrell Suggs and Dumervil, the Ravens should be able to generate some serious heat on the quarterback. Dumervil is 29 and still in his prime after registering 11 sacks last season. At a compact 5-11, 260 pounds, Dumervil has a strong spin move, bull rush and enough speed to finish plays. Of the available pass rushers, he was the lone one on the right side of 30. By adding Dumervil to go with Chris Canty and Marcus Spears, it should help offset the offseason losses of inside linebacker Ray Lewis to retirement and free safety Ed Reed (Houston Texans), inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (Miami Dolphins), outside linebacker Paul Kruger (Cleveland Browns), cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia Eagles) and cutting strong safety Bernard Pollard, who has since joined the Tennessee Titans. After sustaining heavy losses to the roster, Dumervil represents a big piece for a new-look defense.
Edward Lee, reporter: Effective pass rushers are a commodity in the NFL, and now the Ravens can pair up Elvis Dumervil with Terrell Suggs. But at $7 million per year, that money might have been better spent on shoring up the inside linebacker and/or safety positions. Adding Karlos Dansby and another safety might have been a more feasible option for the Ravens.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: For Ravens fans who were shaken by the dramatic personnel exodus from the new Super Bowl champions over the past few weeks, the arrival of scary pass rusher Elvis Dumervil has got to be a big relief. He not only improves the Ravens pass rush dramatically, his departure from Denver weakens one of the premier teams in the AFC. It's a win-win.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens always based their defense on getting to the quarterback. With Sunday's announcement about Elvis Dumervil, and the previous signings of Marcus Spears and Chris Canty, the Ravens have revamped their defensive line. Along with the improved health of both Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, this defensive front seven is built to cause some damage. You won't need Ed Reed playing safety if the quarterback is lying on his back.
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