A bidding war is expected to unfold between the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts for Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Browns have been particularly aggressive in expressing strong interest in Kruger, one of the top free agent pass rushers along with Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril.

Coached by former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, the Colts are seeking a replacement for Dwight Freeney.

Kruger is well beyond the Ravens' financial constraints because of a tight salary cap. He won't be back with the Super Bowl champions following a breakthrough season. The former second-round draft pick from Utah recorded a career-high nine sacks last season with another 4 1/2 sacks in the playoffs, including two of elusive San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the Super Bowl.

One source predicted that Kruger could command anywhere from $10 million to $12 million annually.

Besides Kruger, Ravens free agent starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has also drawn heavy interest from several teams. The Browns are among those suitors.

The Ravens are still expected to make a significant offer to Ellerbe prior to the start of the free agent signing period Tuesday afternoon, but have yet to do so.