There are two ways to look at today's report that the Raiders have signed linebacker Greg Ellis, recently of the Dallas Cowboys. One is that they acquired a 2008 Pro Bowler in whom several other teams reportedly has interest. The other is that they took in a guy who will turn 34 in training camp and whose numbers say he's on the decline phase of his career.
The Chronicle's David White speculates on his Twitter feed that this may means curtains for defensive end Derrick Burgess. Burgess has been the topic of recent trade speculation, with the Patriots being the alleged interested party.
Ellis is unlikely to still be an every-down linebacker, but he could serve solidly as a role player and veteran presence on the Raider defense. Ellis has averaged more than ten sacks over the last two seasons.
This isn't a franchise-altering acquisition like Warren Sapp or DeAngelo Hall, but those ended up not actually being franchise-altering acquisitions anyway. Greg Ellis can't be on the field as much as he used to be, but his addition might still make the Raiders one of the better pass-rushing teams in the AFC.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer and a franchise-altering acquisition.