The NFL's free-agent signing period has begun with the defending Super Bowl champs losing two more linebackers. Paul Kruger is leaving the Baltimore Ravens for the Cleveland Browns. A person familiar with the agreement tells The Associated Press Kruger will sign a five-year deal after leaving the Ravens with 13 Ã? 1/2 sacks last season. ESPN first reported Kruger's deal, which is worth around $40 million. Dannell Ellerbe has accepted a five-year, $35 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, according to a person with knowledge of the package.
The four-year veteran established career highs with 89 tackles, 66 solo tackles and 4 Ã? 1/2 sacks for the Ravens. The defections come after Ray Lewis announced his retirement. The Dolphins are also getting a wide receiver. A person with knowledge of the agreement says Miami has worked out a multiyear contract with Mike Wallace, who caught 32 touchdown passes in four years with Pittsburgh.
Miami wideouts accounted for just three TDs last season. Meanwhile, the defending NFC champs officially traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs.
A person familiar with the deal says the San Francisco 49ers will receive the 34th overall pick in next month's draft and a conditional pick in next year's draft for Smith, who must pass a physical for the trade to be completed. The Niners also confirmed they have agreed to acquire wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Super Bowl champion Ravens for an undisclosed pick in this April's draft. The deal is pending a physical. In other NFL player moves: Seattle has announced the acquisition of Percy Harvin from Minnesota for a trio of draft picks after the receiver passed his physical. Tight end Tony Gonzalez has decided to play one more season with Atlanta. Gonzalez was the Falcons' leading receiver last season, helping them go 13-3 and reach the NFC championship game. Buffalo has released starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after he turned down a request to restructure his contract. Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million dollar contract extension in 2001 but was only 20-33 in four seasons as the starter. Philadelphia has released cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha just two years after he was the NFL's most sought-after free agent. Asomugha was due to make $15 million this season, including $4 million guaranteed, after signing a five-year, $60 million deal with the Eagles in 2011. A person familiar with the situation says the Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with Buffalo guard Andy Levitre (lih-VEE'-tee) and San Francisco tight end Delanie Walker. Minnesota has released starting cornerback Antonio Winfield and re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt. Tight end Martellus Bennett has tweeted he's headed to the Chicago Bears after one season with the Giants. A person with knowledge of the situation tells the AP that the New York Jets will release longtime nose tackle Sione Po'uha in a cost-cutting move.
The Jets also created more salary cap space by restructuring the contract of injured wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The agent for Carolina Panthers linebacker James Anderson says his client has been released by the team with three years left on a five-year, $22 million contract. The Chiefs have hammered out a four-year, $16 million deal with former Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano, a three-year, $12.6 million contract with defensive tackle Mike DeVito, and a three-year deal with former Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel. The Indianapolis Colts have agreements in principle with offensive linemen Gosder Cherilus and Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebacker Erik Walden. St. Louis has worked out a five-year deal with tight end Jared Cook, who spent the last four seasons with Tennessee and played for Rams coach Jeff Fisher. Arizona has re-signed free-agent safety Rashad Johnson to a three-year contract. The Bengals have signed end Wallace Gilberry to a contract extension. San Diego has released 11-year veteran tight end Randy McMichael among several moves.
The Chargers also agreed to terms with tight end John Phillips and tackle King Dunlap, lost right guard Louis Vasquez to Denver and claimed running back Fozzy Whittaker off waivers from Arizona. The Oakland Raiders have cut two former first-round picks, starting receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and defensive back Michael Huff.