INDIANAPOLIS -- — The Ravens conducted a breakfast meeting Friday with the agent for unrestricted free agent starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
"Good meeting, it went well," agent Hadley Engelhard told The Baltimore Sun. "It was good to have a face-to-face with [vice president of football administration] Pat Moriarty and talk about things we already knew and have discussed."
Ellerbe and other Baltimore free agents remain in something of a holding pattern while the Ravens continue to haggle with quarterback Joe Flacco.
"They're obviously focusing on the short-term on the Flacco issue first," Engelhard said. "The next focal point is Dannell. Hopefully, it will work out. We plan on meeting many, many times between now and free agency."
With Ray Lewis retiring, the Ravens have a void in the middle of their defense.
As a pending unrestricted free agent, though, Ellerbe is expected to draw heavy interest following a breakout season capped with a team-high nine tackles during a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
"I think Dannell has proven himself to be one of the elite young linebackers in the NFL," Engelhard said. "His best football is in front of him. Hopefully, there's a home for him in Baltimore. If not, I'm sure plenty of other teams will be happy to have him on their roster."
Ellerbe, 27, was an undrafted free agent in 2009 out of the University of Georgia but emerged as a versatile three-down linebacker last season.
Although he battled ankle, foot, thumb and back injuries, Ellerbe finished second on the defense with a career-high 89 tackles along with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
In the playoffs, Ellerbe had 32 tackles and intercepted New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC championship game.
With Lewis leaving and inside linebacker Jameel McClain still recovering from a spinal cord contusion, the Ravens could use Ellerbe.
Ideally, Ellerbe would like to return.
"This is all I know," Ellerbe said. "It's a family-oriented team. Guys love each other and fight for each other. I would love to be with a team like this."