The Miami Dolphins signed linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to a five-year, $35 million contract in the offseason for the sole purpose of taking the team to the next level. Ellerbe understands why the Dolphins acquired him, with one of those reasons being to defeat the New England Patriots.
“I was brought here to help knock them off,” Ellerbe said, according to CBSSports.com. “That doesn’t mean we will, but we feel like we can. Like I said, we just have to prove it. You have to actually go do it.”
It is no secret that the Patriots could be on the down after losing Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead, Brandon Lloyd and, of course, Aaron Hernandez. All four players were very productive on offense for New England. It appears the team could have a hard time overcoming those losses, especially if tight end Rob Gronkowski is unable to go at the start of the season due to several injuries.
Just because the Patriots will be without a few of their playmakers, and the Dolphins brought in a top-notch linebacker, does not necessarily mean Miami will take both games during the 2013 season. With that being said, there is no question the addition of Ellerbe instantly improves the team. In fact, the Baltimore Ravens did not want to let him go, but they were not prepared to offer him the massive contract that the Dolphins were.
It will be interesting to see if Miami can raise their game and make some noise in the AFC East during the upcoming season. The fact that they will have a Super Bowl winner to be the vocal leader on defense certainly helps their chances.