Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger has quickly become a fan favorite in Baltimore. On Sunday, Kruger recorded 2.5 sacks on Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and was only overshadowed by future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis on defense.

Kruger finished the last eight weeks of the season with 7.5 of his 9 total sacks.

After the Ravens (hopefully lengthy) postseason run, Kruger will hit the free agent market for the first time since he entered the league in 2009. According to a tweet from Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times, Kruger is looking for a deal “in the range of 5 years, $40 million“.

Unless Joe Flacco plans on taking a huge hometown discount (he doesn’t), that likely means that Kruger will be making the bacon somewhere else.

I questioned the Ravens decision to give Ray Rice a five year, $40 million deal on Sunday and was called a fair weather fan for asking. I’m a huge fan of Rice and think that with a good play caller he could be an MVP candidate, but I recognize that 2013 will be his sixth year in the league. How many more productive seasons does he have left in him?

I’d say probably less than five.

Meanwhile, the Ravens drafted Bernard Pierce in the third round of the 2012 draft and he led the Ravens in rushing yards (103) during his first playoff game. Perhaps if Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens would have held off on signing Rice and instead focused on Flacco, they could have kept Kruger, who has been a stable on their shaky defense this year.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of Baltimore Sports Report and host of the BSR Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @zamwi or send him an email: zach@baltimoresportsreport.com