NFL Free Agents: The Linebackers

League-wide free agency begins March 13th. The Browns have stated all along they prefer to build the team through the draft, but will take a look at the players available in free agency. Yesterday we looked at the receivers available. Another area of concern is the outside LB position.

So who is available this off-season and who should the Browns target? Let’s take a look at the list:

D'Qwell Jackson

OLB Clark Haggans (ARZ)

ILB Curtis Lofton (ATL)

ILB Mike Peterson (ATL)

ILB Brendon Ayanbadejo (BAL)

ILB Dannell Ellerbe (BAL) – Restricted

OLB Sergio Kindle (BAL) – Exclusive Rights

OLB Jameel McClain (BAL)

OLB Jarret Johnson (BAL)

ILB Andra Davis (BUF)

ILB Kirk Morrison (BUF)

OLB Garrison Sanborn (BUF) – Restricted

LB Reggie Torbor (BUF)

Anthony Spencer

OLB/DE Antwan Applewhite (CAR)

ILB Dan Connor (CAR)

ILB Omar Gaither (CAR)

LB Jason Phillips (CAR) – Restricted

OLB Jordan Senn (CAR)

LB Thomas Williams (CAR) – Restricted

OLB Brandon Johnson (CIN)

OLB Manny Lawson (CIN)

OLB Vincent Rey (CIN) – Exclusive Rights

OLB Titus Brown (CLE) – Restricted

ILB D’Qwell Jackson (CLE)

ILB Keith Brooking (DAL)

ILB Bradie James (DAL)

OLB Anthony Spencer (DAL)

Curtis Lofton

ILB Mario Haggan (DEN)

ILB Joe Mays (DEN)

OLB Wesley Woodyard (DEN)

OLB Bobby Carpenter (DET)

LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (DET)

OLB DeAndre Levy (DET) – Restricted

ILB Ashlee Palmer (DET) – Restricted

ILB Stephen Tulloch (DET)

OLB Erik Walden (GB)

ILB Tim Dobbins (HOU)

OLB Kevin Bentley (IND)

LB Cody Glenn (IND) – Restricted

OLB Ernie Sims (IND)

LB Philip Wheeler (IND)

OLB Russell Allen (JAC) – Restricted

ILB Jovan Belcher (KC) – Restricted

ILB Cory Greenwood (KC) – Exclusive Rights

OLB Ikaika Alama-Francis (MIA)

ILB Marvin Mitchell (MIA)

ILB Austin Spitler (MIA) – Exclusive Rights

ILB Xavier Adibi (MIN)

ILB E.J. Henderson (MIN)

OLB Erin Henderson (MIN)

OLB Kenny Onatolu (MIN) – Restricted

OLB Gary Guyton (NE)

OLB Tracy White (NE)

OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (NO)

ILB Chase Blackburn (NYG)

LB Jonathan Goff (NYG)

OLB Aaron Maybin (NYJ) – Restricted

OLB Jamaal Westerman (NYJ) – Restricted

LB Bryan Thomas (NYJ)

ILB Darryl Blackstock (OAK)

LB Ricky Brown (OAK)

OLB Quentin Groves (OAK)

LB Stephen Cooper (SD)

ILB Na’il Diggs (SD)

ILB Heath Farwell (SEA)

ILB David Hawthorne (SEA)

OLB Leroy Hill (SEA)

LB Matt McCoy (SEA)

LB David Vobora (SEA)

OLB Ahmad Brooks (SF)

ILB Blake Costanzo (SF)

ILB Tavares Gooden (SF)

ILB Larry Grant (SF)

OLB Chris Chamberlain (STL)

OLB Bryan Kehl (STL)

LB Ben Leber (STL)

OLB Brady Poppinga (STL)

OLB Geno Hayes (TB)

OLB Patrick Bailey (TEN)

ILB Barrett Ruud (TEN)

ILB Tim Shaw (TEN)

ILB London Fletcher (WAS)

ILB Keyaron Fox (WAS)

LB Rocky McIntosh (WAS)

Note: those with the designation LB were not listed on any depth chart I could find. That could be for a variety of reasons, particularly if they finished the season on IR or if they just played special teams.

Just like the WR group we mentioned yesterday, a significant number of these players will sign again with their current team. The player most likely to jump ship for the biggest payday on this list is Curtis Lofton who finished with 147 tackles.

Anthony Spencer might be a player the Browns have an eye on. He is a solid player on the outside against the run. Dallas is said to be letting him test the free agent waters, and will likely have to let him go with their cap situation.

I would expect the Browns to take an OLB in the draft. I would be mildly surprised if they spent any money at all on a FA LB, other than re-signing Jackson.

[Related: 2012 Could Look Like 2011 for Browns in Free Agency]

  • Anonymous

    As opposed to the WR list I’d probably prefer to see a young LB drafted.  Not many names on this list trigger an effect for me. 

  • Anonymous

    a lot of these guys on the list are good players but they are past their prime. I do like anthony  spencer but he is playing opposite demarcus ware so if he demands high money will he be able to be the #1 guy without demarcus. I really want Jarret Johnson and jameel mcclain but we won’t need mcclain if we resign d’qwell but these are guys that would make a great impact. We won’t get these guys obviously but this would be sweet if we could get them away from baltimore. The player who is my sleeper pick is taking a chance on quentin groves. I know he has stunk but he only got 500,000 last year and for a defensive end with upside that is worth the risk as long as he is not injured.

  • Anonymous

    most of these guys are past their primes, some of these guys never had a prime and one of those guys is dead!

    (just kidding on the last part)

  • Harv 21

    The defense that will one day let us compete in this division must contain a playmaking, snot-bubble linebacker. The missile the opposing QB is pointing to before the snap. Not on this list. But maybe one of these guys can at least provide an upgrade to Fujita.

  • Guest

    Andra Davis is still in the league?

  • BuckeyeDawg

     I agree.  We need a “thumper” linebacker to take the defense to the next level. Someone that has to be accounted for by the offense on every play.