Ravens' ILB ranks could have new look in 2013

Mike Wilkening
January 6, 2013
Lewis' dancing days always will be cherished

With ILB Ray Lewis expected to retire at season’s end and with "Will" ILB Dannell Ellerbe an unrestricted free agent, the Ravens could have a considerably different look at inside linebacker next season. We hear Ellerbe has been a pleasant surprise this season, but we’re also told that there’s no guarantee he will be back, with the quality of offers he receives in free agency a potential key factor. Jameel McClain, who’s on injured reserve with a spinal contusion, is likely to have a role of some sort in 2013. He logged starts at both ILB positions this season. Rookie Josh Bynes and veteran special-teams standout Brendon Ayanbadejo could have complementary roles. However, it won’t be a surprise if the Ravens add to their ILB ranks, given the loss of Lewis, a stalwart for the better part of two decades. The Ravens have shown a knack for finding solid and unheralded complements to Lewis — Ellerbe, McClain and Bynes were all undrafted free agents, as was current Jets LB Bart Scott