Gonzalez back to Falcons; Bills cut Fitzpatrick
By Barry Wilner ,APThe Baltimore Ravens are paying the price for winning a Super Bowl.
March 14, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The NFL champions lost two key components of their defense, linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe, as free agency began Tuesday. On Monday, they traded star receiver Anquan Boldin, a key to their title run, to San Francisco — the team the Ravens beat 34-31 to win the championship.
Kruger went north to division rival Cleveland for a five-year, US$40 million deal, while Ellerbe headed south to Miami for US$35 million over five years. Steelers receiver Mike Wallace joined Ellerbe in choosing the Dolphins.
The 49ers didn't go untouched, either. After giving up a sixth-round draft pick for Boldin, they saw tight end Delanie Walker leave for Tennessee.
San Francisco also confirmed the trade of backup quarterback Alex Smith to Kansas City, a deal that was known for weeks. The 49ers will receive the Chiefs' second-round pick, 34th overall, in this year's draft and a conditional pick in next year's draft.
The 32-year-old Boldin expressed surprise that he was traded.
“I thought this was the last stop of my career but regardless of the circumstances I came here to win a Championship ... and in February we came home Champions,” he said on Twitter.
Ellerbe also tweeted as he moved on to the Dolphins.
“Just wanna take time to THANK GOD for being in this position I'm in! Before I make da BIGGEST DECISION in my life I just wanna thank him!!!” Ellerbe said.
Kruger led the Ravens with nine sacks and added 2 1/2 in the playoffs and two in the Super Bowl. But he was too expensive for Baltimore to keep.
Wallace will give Miami the speedy receiver it has sought after getting just three touchdown catches from its wideouts last season.
Denver ensured that Peyton Manning will be the Broncos' quarterback through at least 2014.
In this Nov. 27, 2011 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber knocks the ball out of the grasp of Tennessee Titans running back Javon Ringer #21 in the second ...