A.J. Hawk wasn't worth a top-five pick, but he's a very good linebacker who played a key role in Green Bay's Super Bowl run. Hawk will probably return to the Packers for less money.
Kevin Burnett, ILB, Chargers. Age: 28. Signed with Dolphins (4 years)
After a few forgettable years in Dallas, Kevin Burnett has really come into his own in San Diego. Staying put would probably be best for his career.
Lofa Tatupu, ILB, Seahawks. Age: 28.
Lofa Tatupu is no longer the elite inside linebacker he once was. Tatupu is coming off two knee surgeries and was already somewhat of a liability in coverage. Perhaps he can recover and improve his play a bit, but it's doubtful that he'll ever be a Pro Bowl-caliber athlete again.
Nick Barnett, ILB, Packers. Age: 30. Signed with Bills (3 years, $12 million)
The Packers cut Nick Barnett because he was overpaid and didn't have a spot in the starting lineup with Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk playing ahead of him. Barnett is a solid starting-caliber inside linebacker who thrives in run support.
Kirk Morrison, ILB, Jaguars. Age: 29.
Kirk Morrison is a decent middle linebacker who thrives in run support. He's not terrible in coverage, but could be better in that department.
Stewart Bradley, ILB, Eagles. Age: 27. Signed with Cardinals
Stewart Bradley really struggled in coverage this past season, but that's understandable because he was only a year removed from ACL surgery. He'll move to strongside linebacker in 2011, assuming he re-signs with the team.
Stephen Cooper, ILB, Chargers. Age: 32. Re-signed with Chargers (1 year)
Stephen Cooper turns 32 in June, but is coming off a very good year. Cooper played well throughout until suffering an MCL sprain in December.
Takeo Spikes, ILB, 49ers. Age: 34. Signed with Chargers (3 years)
Takeo Spikes just enjoyed another great year with the 49ers. However, he turned 34 in December, so there could be a massive dropoff sometime soon.
D'Qwell Jackson, ILB, Browns. Age: 27. Re-signed with Browns
D'Qwell Jackson missed all of last year after playing in just six games in 2009. Jackson's a good player, but is a major injury risk.
Channing Crowder, ILB, Dolphins. Age: 27. Announced retirement
Channing Crowder doesn't live up to his trash talking, but he's a decent, two-down inside linebacker.
Barrett Ruud, ILB, Buccaneers. Age: 28. Signed with Titans (1 year)
I'm not sure what happened to Barrett Ruud, because he had an awful 2010 campaign after a couple of phenomenal seasons as Tampa Bay's middle linebacker. Ruud might be able to bounce back elsewhere - or he could be done.
Jameel McClain (ERFA), ILB, Ravens. Age: 26.
Jameel McClain is serviceable as Baltimore's two-down inside linebacker next to Ray Lewis, but can be upgraded.
Akin Ayodele, ILB, Bills. Age: 31.
Akin Ayodele started in the second half of the year for Buffalo, and did a decent job. He can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4.
Tim Dobbins, ILB, Dolphins. Age: 28. Signed with Texans
A quality reserve inside linebacker who is decent in run support.
Dhani Jones, ILB, Bengals. Age: 33.
Dhani Jones had a decent 2009, but regressed last season. The bow tie and Febreze salesman is on his last legs.
Eric Barton, ILB, Browns. Age: 33.
Eric Barton is a liability in coverage at this point in his career, but he can still be a quality two-down run-stopping inside linebacker for 3-4 teams.
Kevin Bentley, ILB, Texans. Age: 31.
Kevin Bentley did a decent job filling in for DeMeco Ryans in the second half of the season. He could be brought back as a reserve 3-4 inside linebacker.
Brandon Siler, ILB, Chargers. Age: 25. -- Signed with Chiefs
Gerald Hayes, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 30.
Marvin Mitchell, ILB, Saints. Age: 26. -- Signed with Dolphins
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