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Report: Paul Kruger might spur two-team bidding war

The Cleveland Browns want Paul Kruger. So do the Indianapolis Colts. With both teams flush with cash, Kruger finds himself in a very enviable spot.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Sunday that the Browns and Colts are expected to engage in a bidding war for the Ravens' outside linebacker, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Plain Dealer reported earlier on Sunday that the Browns were targeting Kruger and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. The Ravens are likely to make a hard push to retain Ellerbe. Kruger -- expected to command $10 million to $12 million on the open market -- is believed to be well beyond the Ravens' budget.

Kruger has a tie to the Colts in head coach Chuck Pagano, who once was Kruger's defensive coordinator in Baltimore. The Colts are seeking a replacement for Dwight Freeney.

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Kruger set a career high with nine sacks in the regular season before adding 4.5 more in four playoff games. He sat for stretches of Super Bowl XLVII in favor of Courtney Upshaw for run-defense reasons but still managed two sacks of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

According to The Sun, the Browns also have expressed strong interest in Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril. If the Browns lose out on Kruger, they might settle on Avril. Both players might be overpaid in this market.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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