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2012 NFL Free Agents: Inside Linebackers

2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Mock

2012 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2012.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Stephen Tulloch, ILB, Lions. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Lions (5 years)

    The Lions committed Grand Theft Linebacker when they signed Stephen Tulloch to a 1-year, $3.25 million deal this past offseason. They won't be able to get him so cheap this time. Tulloch is one of the top players at his position.

  2. D'Qwell Jackson, ILB, Browns. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Browns (5 years, $42.5 million; $19 million guaranteed)

    D'Qwell Jackson is really good if he's healthy. He played in just six total games in 2009 and 2010, but he dominated in 2011 because he was finally able to stay on the field.

  3. David Hawthorne, ILB, Seahawks. Age: 27.
    Signed with Saints (5 years)

    David Hawthorne is one of the better inside linebackers in the NFL. He had a nagging knee injury that plagued him throughout 2011, but he still performed on a really high level.

  4. Curtis Lofton, ILB, Falcons. Age: 26.
    Signed with Saints (5 years)

    Curtis Lofton is a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker. Re-signing him is Atlanta's No. 1 priority this offseason because he's the soul of the defense.

  5. Dan Connor, ILB, Panthers. Age: 26.
    Signed with Cowboys

    Don't expect Dan Connor to be back with the Panthers; otherwise, he'll have to play behind Jon Beason. Connor is talented and young, and could easily be a starter somewhere else.

  6. London Fletcher, ILB, Redskins. Age: 37.
    Re-signed with Redskins

    London Fletcher amazingly just keeps getting it done. He played on a really high level last year despite being 36. The Redskins absolutely need to re-sign him.

  7. DeAndre Levy (RFA), ILB, Lions. Age: 25.
    I guess we know that DeAndre Levy's true position is at inside linebacker because he struggled at the weakside spot this past season.

  8. Jovan Belcher (RFA), ILB, Chiefs. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year, $1.927 million)

    Jovan Belcher is a very underrated player. He's a slight liability in coverage sometimes, but he's terrific in run support.

  9. Chase Blackburn, ILB, Giants. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Giants

    Chase Blackburn was the best of New York's inside linebackers in 2011, but that's not saying much. He's good in run support and finished the season really strong. He's not as good in coverage, but that certainly wasn't the case in the Super Bowl.

  10. Larry Grant (RFA), ILB, 49ers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with 49ers (1 year, $1.26 million)

    Larry Grant played terrifically in relief of an injured Patrick Willis down the stretch. He'll have to wait a year to get more playing time elsewhere, however.

  11. Jameel McClain, ILB, Ravens. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Ravens (3 years)

    Jameel McClain is a solid, two-down linebacker who thrives in run support. While he's not completely inept in coverage, that's definitely a weakness of his.

  12. Jonathan Goff, ILB, Giants. Age: 26.
    Signed with Redskins

    Jonathan Goff did a solid job as New York's inside linebacker in 2010, but he missed the entire 2011 campaign with a torn ACL.

  13. Lofa Tatupu, ILB, Falcons. Age: 29.
    Lofa Tatupu (or Taptua) oddly received no interest in 2011. Maybe a year off was what he needed to recover from all of his injuries.

  14. Joe Mays, ILB, Broncos. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Broncos

    Joe Mays is usable as a two-down thumper in run support, but he is completely clueless in coverage.

  15. Bradie James, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 31.
    Signed with Texans

    No longer a three-down linebacker, Bradie James struggled at times in 2011.

  16. E.J. Henderson, ILB, Vikings. Age: 32.
    E.J. Henderson used to be a really good linebacker, but age and injuries have sapped him of his coverage skills. He can still be an OK two-down linebacker somewhere.

  17. James Farrior, ILB, Steelers. Age: 37.
    James Farrior is a major liability in coverage, but he can still play the run pretty well as a two-down linebacker.

  18. Dannell Ellerbe (RFA), ILB, Ravens. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Ravens (1 year, $1.927 million)
  19. Tim Dobbins, ILB, Texans. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Texans
  20. Marvin Mitchell, ILB, Dolphins. Age: 27. -- Signed with Vikings
  21. Reggie Torbor, ILB, Bills. Age: 31.
  22. Gary Brackett, ILB, Colts. Age: 32.
  23. Keyaron Fox, ST, Redskins. Age: 30.
  24. Darryl Blackstock, ILB, Raiders. Age: 29. -- Signed with Ravens
  25. Brendon Ayanbadejo, ILB, Ravens. Age: 35. -- Re-signed with Ravens (3 years)
  26. Tavares Gooden, ILB, 49ers. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with 49ers (1 year)
  27. Demorrio Williams, ILB, Chiefs. Age: 32. -- Signed with Chargers (1 year)
  28. Keith Brooking, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 36. -- Signed with Broncos
  29. Matt McCoy, ILB, Seahawks. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year)
  30. Barrett Ruud, ILB, Titans. Age: 29. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
  31. Tim Shaw, ILB, Titans. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Titans (3 years)
  32. Kirk Morrison, ILB, Bills. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bills (2 years)
  33. Blake Costanzo, ILB, 49ers. Age: 28. -- Signed with Bears (2 years, $2 million)
  34. Na'il Diggs, ILB, Chargers. Age: 34.
  35. Stephen Cooper, ILB, Chargers. Age: 33.
  36. Reggie Walker (RFA), ILB, Cardinals. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (2 years)
  37. Andra Davis, ILB, Bills. Age: 33.
  38. Titus Brown (RFA), ILB, Browns. Age: 26.
  39. Ramon Humber (RFA), ILB, Saints. Age: 25.
  40. Niko Koutouvides, ILB, Patriots. Age: 31.

2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Mock

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Hawthorne is a saint now
Auth 03-23-2012 12:37 am (total posts: 1)
9     9

What do you think it will take to sign Joseph, about 9 Mil per year? And Benson about 5 Mil per? Not sure what their 2010 salaries were, but that’s prolabby a 12 Mil increase.We assume they cut Chad and save 6 Mil, and Carson is traded or retired saving 11.5 Mil in 2011. If they don't trade Carson, even if he is considered retired, they will approach it like he's going to play and get paid, so the Budget will plan for 11.5 Mil being spent on Carson. This may hurt them even more because they will have to sign Dalton (about 2 Mil) plus bring in another FA QB. Figure they will spend anywhere from $500,000 to 2 Mil for another QB, so total budget allocated for Bengals QBs will be between 14 16 Mil in 2011. They also have to pay big money to A.J. Green, which will more than eat up the money freed from letting TO walk and releasing Chad.
SteveB 03-20-2012 11:50 pm (total posts: 1)
16     27

Walt...Say Ahhhhhhh...Matt Millen has one of those drug laced Kielbasa's ready to stuff in your mouth. Wait a minute...I think he already did!!!
Stephen Tulloch 03-20-2012 04:56 pm (total posts: 1)
16     15

Just resigned with the lions today
None 03-14-2012 04:24 pm (total posts: 1)
13     14

Niko Koutouvides re signed with the patriots. Check the blog at espn
jj 03-10-2012 08:49 pm (total posts: 1)
13     18

Larry Grant for a 7th round pick...I would do that in a heartbeat...what? I would thought the 49ers would have at least put a 4th round on him
Matt40 03-08-2012 06:38 pm (total posts: 1)
17     13

Can David Hawthorne or Dan Connor also play outside?
C 03-07-2012 11:45 pm (total posts: 1)
17     19

Chase Blackburn is a high energy team guy. He was a pro bowl special teams coverage guy in his career. I can't believe he wasn't the starter to replace Antonio Pierce a few years ago but sadly he's declined. He makes mistakes vs the run and is average at best vs the pass but makes up for it in energy. The Giants clearly made a mistake not having him replace Pierce a few years back

Jonathan Goff was awful in 2009. Horribly bad, didn't belong in the league bad. Took horrible angles, slow reads, couldn't shed blocks or hold the point of attack and he was not good vs the run. Goff improved a lot in 2010 ( but then got hurt.

Neither Giant ILB are as good as Bradie James who is ranked lower.
Geoff 03-06-2012 03:43 pm (total posts: 1)
521     521

Where the hell is Lance Briggs?!?!?!?!
Ryan 02-29-2012 01:55 am (total posts: 1)
17     31

So Hester isn't even a top 5 fullback? What' even more ridiculous is Barrett Ruud at the bottom of linebackers. I realize he's injured, but he's 28 and has established himself as one of the top 10 most productive middle linebackers in the game when healthy. That's ridiculous.

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