Potential New York Jets Free Agent: Dannell Ellerbe

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Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (59) celebrates winning Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a look at some of the more unique stats provided by our friends at Pro Football Focus.

One of their unique stats is “Tackling Efficiency”, which calculates a figure based on on the number of tackles attempted per the number of tackles missed.  Time to compare.

Dannell Ellerbe’s tackle efficiency against the run was 47.0, while Bart Scott’s was 5.8. The passing tackle efficiency is hard to compare, because Scott being so slow, only attempted 6 tackles on pass plays. He didn’t miss any, but obviously that is a small percentage. Overall, Ellerbe’s rating was a 13.8 and Scott’s was a 6.6.

They also have a stat called “Cover Snaps per Reception”. Here, they take a look at how often a player is the primary defender in coverage, vs how many receptions he allows. Bart Scott’s number of snaps is too low to consider, but Ellerbe? He allowed a reception every 8.2 times he was primary in coverage, which is quite low. The league best at the position was 18.0, to give you a frame of reference.  Demario Davis, in his limited reps, posted a 12.2 in this category.

Under his contract with the Ravens, his average salary per year was $1,927,000 (per www.overthecap.com).  This isn’t a ton of money, but at 27 years old, coming off his breakout year, he will be looking for a pay raise.  It could take in the neighborhood of $3,000,000 to earn his services.

Is that cost prohibitive?  Probably not.  But it’s not chump change either.  It might take a little bit of creativity, due to the cap situation, with signing bonuses and incentives to make it financially worthwhile.

So, the bottom line for me is this: would Ellerbe be a bad signing?  No, as he clearly has talent.  But, the telling part for me is that he lacks a little bit in his play in pass coverage.  His grades just aren’t that good in that category, and the Jets would be better served turning the reps over to Demario Davis, and letting him show us what he can do as the starter.

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