Saints News

Saints LB Dannell Ellerbe expected to be waived when healthy

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ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass intended for Levine Toilolo #80 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass intended for Levine Toilolo #80 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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News broke yesterday that the New Orleans Saints would place LB Dannell Ellerbe on Injured Reserve, and that when he’s be healthy the linebacker will be cut.

New Orleans Saints analysts such as Mike Triplett, Josh Katzenstein, and Nick Underhill all confirmed this news. Ellerbe, unfortunately, is dealing with yet another injury, this time to his foot. He didn’t pass his physical before training camp, which would ultimately be the reasoning behind the move.

The news comes as a surprise for some about Ellerbe’s eventual release. The linebacker has played an important role in the Saints defense when healthy. Ellerbe contributed as the New Orleans Saints starting Will Linebacker.

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass intended for Levine Toilolo #80 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 01: Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass intended for Levine Toilolo #80 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

When available, Ellerbe was a noticeable upgrade compared to what the Saints had, but in the end his ability to stay on the field simply didn’t meet the team’s expectations. Danell Ellerbe has unfortunately been struggling with injuries ever since he joined the New Orleans Saints. In fact, Dannell Ellerbe hasn’t started a full season in his current 8-year tenure in the National Football League.

During his tenure with in New Orleans, Ellerbe has only managed to start 15 of the available 32 games. In the 2015 season, Dannell Ellerbe played only six games for the Saints. In those six games, Ellerbe contributed 39 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass defended against. However, in the year 2016, Ellerbe played in 9 games throughout the season. In those 9 games, Dannell Ellerbe totaled 44 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, and 2 passes defended against.

Now the question remains, “What will the New Orleans Saints do now that Dannell Ellerbe will be gone?” Dannell Ellerbe filled the position of the starting Will Linebacker, and with that vacancy now open there are a couple of candidates that are worthy of overtaking it.

Craig Robertson

CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 17: Craig Robertson #52 and Vonn Bell #48 of the New Orleans Saints react. After a defensive stop against the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game. At Bank of America Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 17: Craig Robertson #52 and Vonn Bell #48 of the New Orleans Saints react. After a defensive stop against the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game. At Bank of America Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The former free agent standout looks to be the frontrunner in this escapade for a new Saints starting Will linebacker. Robertson, a talented linebacker, possesses the versatility to play multiple positions. Including WLB. With the depth the Saints currently have overall at the linebacker position, I could envision this move for Robertson. He has been successful in this defense already and could transition well to a different linebacker position. In 2016 with the New Orleans Saints, Craig Robertson totaled 115 total tackles leading the team, 1 sack, and 1 interception.

Alex Anzalone

GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 06: Alex Anzalone #34 of the Florida Gators. Lines up during the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. At Ben Hill Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 06: Alex Anzalone #34 of the Florida Gators. Lines up during the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles. At Ben Hill Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints 2017 3rd round selection could give LB Craig Robertson the biggest competition as far as this battle goes. Anzalone, a former Florida alum, had an impressive showing during his college years and looks to continue this as he plays for the Saints.

While Anzalone was with Florida, the linebacker totaled 75 total tackles, (33 solo tackles), 5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 passes defended against, and 1 fumble recovery.

Alex Anzalone has a wide variety of talents that could spell success for himself as a starter for the New Orleans Saints in 2017. Anzalone is an impressive candidate. He would surely make a great starter. Now, if he’ll be able to beat out Craig Robertson, that’ll be another story.

Other candidates that are possibilities for the starting position include former CFL star and potential breakout athlete LB Adam Bighill. Regardless who overtakes the position, it’ll certainly be an interesting showdown!

Now that the news has come out Saints fans, what do you think? Who would you like to be the New Orleans Saints starting linebackers? Make sure to stay updated with Who Dat Dish for the latest and the greatest New Orleans Saints news, and coverage. 

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