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Dannell Ellerbe: I want to stay with Baltimore Ravens

Re-signing quarterback Joe Flacco remains a top priority in Baltimore, but this offseason ultimately might be judged by how the Ravens handle negotiations with linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

Offseason Forecast: Ravens


Around The League examines what's next for the NFL's 32 teams in 2013. Gregg Rosenthal covers the Ravens. **More ...**

Ellerbe's agent met with the Ravens in Indianapolis on Friday, per The Baltimore Sun, but negotiations are in something of a holding pattern until the Flacco deal is complete.

"I'm looking forward to making the best out of everything," Ellerbe told WNST-AM, via "The team that I play for, the money that I get, the situation I'm going into and all of that plays into it. I already have a Super Bowl. I want to be in Baltimore. My heart is in Baltimore, I love Baltimore, I love the fans, I love talking to y'all guys and I know I'm not going to talk to y'all somewhere else."

Ellerbe's value to the Ravens has never been higher. With Ray Lewis out the door, the 27-year-old -- who arguably outplayed Lewis this season -- has a major role waiting for him in Baltimore, but Ellerbe is expected to be courted heavily. He said it himself: He's looking to make the "best" out of the money side of the equation, but also wants to stay a Raven.

That won't be easy, but few teams have done a better job of keeping their own players than Baltimore. They face a tricky cap situation -- and they won't be able to keep everyone -- but if Ellerbe is determined to stay with this team, the Ravens will find a way to get this done.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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