Dannell Ellerbe is now a member of the best team in the National Football League.
Ellerbe, a Hamlet native, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday morning after being a free agent for almost three months. The 31-year-old linebacker came into the season with the New Orleans Saints but was on the team’s injured reserve list due to a foot injury. He was released back in August.
The Eagles will be Ellerbe’s fourth team, as the veteran linebacker has played for the Baltimore Ravens (2009-2012) — where he won Super Bowl XLVII — and the Miami Dolphins (2013-2014) before joining the Saints organization in 2015.
His presence in the city of Brotherly Love will bring some much-needed depth and leadership to team’s linebacking core. The team lost starting linebacker Jordan Hicks for the season when he suffered an Achilles injury three weeks ago.
Philadelphia has the league’s best record (8-1) and has won its last seven games. Quarterback Carson Wentz, a favorite in the NFL MVP race, has thrown for 2,262 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead the offense, while the defense is ranked 11th out of the 32 teams — giving up 315.9 yards per game.
”Congrats to ESM client, Dannell Ellerbe (@ellerbe59) who is signing with the @Eagles tomorrow! He’s the final piece to the Eagles Super Bowl puzzle,” tweeted Enter Sports Management, which is Ellerbe’s agency.
The Richmond County native, who was back home last month acting as grand marshal for the annual Richmond Senior High School Homecoming Parade, has only played in a total of 16 games in the last three seasons due to different injuries.
Ellerbe’s best statiscal season was back in 2013 with the Dolphins, coming off the Super Bowl win, when he played in 15 games and made 101 tackles, deflected five passes and intercepted two passes — all career highs.
Over his nine-year career, he has totaled 368 tackles, 10.5 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The Eagles cut cornerback Dexter McDougle to make room for Ellerbe.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.