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2013 NFL Free Agents: Inside Linebackers

2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | Winners/Losers

2013 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2013.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Desmond Bishop, ILB, Packers. Age: 29.
    Signed with Vikings (1 year, $1.5 million)

    Desmond Bishop was released for some strange reason. He's one of the better 3-4 inside linebackers in the NFL, though he missed all of 2012 with a torn hamstring.

  2. Dannell Ellerbe, ILB, Ravens. Age: 27.
    Signed with Dolphins

    Dannell Ellerbe was the top inside linebacker on the roster this past season - even when Ray Lewis was healthy. He had a strong second half, emerging after Lewis went down.

  3. Brad Jones, ILB, Packers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Packers

    Desmond Bishop's season-ending injury was initially thought to be a big deal, but it turned out to be very minor because Brad Jones stepped in and did a great job. Jones played all three downs highly effectively. He deserves a big contract.

  4. Karlos Dansby, ILB, Dolphins. Age: 31.
    Signed with Cardinals (1 year)

    The Dolphins went younger when they made a very minor upgrade by replacing Karlos Dansby with Dannell Ellerbe. Dansby is a very strong run defender who can still play all three downs. Unfortunately, he'll turn 32 in November.

  5. Rolando McClain, ILB, Raiders. Age: 24.
    Signed with Ravens

    The positive for Rolando McClain: He's a strong run defender who will be just 24 in July. The negative? He was used on just two downs in 2012 because he can't cover. He also has major work-ethic issues, though these could be fixed if he's brought into a strong locker room.

  6. Brian Urlacher, ILB, Bears. Age: 35.
    Announced retirement

    Based on the way he played last year, Brian Urlacher probably deserves 1.5 stars. He was terrible. However, he was hurt throughout, so maybe he can recover and be at least an OK starter again.

  7. Larry Grant, ILB, 49ers. Age: 28.
    Larry Grant played well in relief of an injured Patrick Willis a year ago, but didn't see the field much in 2012.

  8. Bart Scott, ILB, Jets. Age: 33.
    Bart Scott is no longer a three-down linebacker, but he's still effective in terms of stopping the run.

  9. Takeo Spikes, ILB, Chargers. Age: 36.
    Takeo Spikes played well for the first few months of the season in 2012, but he struggled mightily down the stretch. There's a chance he could be done. At best, he's a solid, two-down veteran.

  10. Chase Blackburn, ILB, Giants. Age: 30.
    Signed with Panthers (2 years)

    Chase Blackburn was OK at times last year, but killed his team in some games. He needs to be upgraded.

  11. Dan Connor, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 28.
    Signed with Giants

    Dan Connor has been a disappointment in his pro career thus far, but he's a very good reserve linebacker and an OK spot starter in the middle of a 3-4 defense.

  12. Bradie James, ILB, Texans. Age: 32.
    Wade Phillips probably wanted Bradie James to play fewer snaps during the year, but Brian Cushing's injury forced his hand. James did a solid job in run support, but wasn't very good in coverage.

  13. Larry Foote, ILB, Steelers. Age: 33.
    Re-signed with Steelers

    Larry Foote is an asset because he's a smart leader on the field, but his skills have eroded. He was ranked near the top among linebackers in terms of missed tackles and touchdowns allowed. He said he's considering retirement.

  14. Tim Dobbins, ILB, Texans. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Texans
  15. Rey Maualuga, ILB, Bengals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Bengals (2 years, $6.5 million)
  16. Jasper Brinkley, ILB, Vikings. Age: 28. -- Signed with Cardinals (2 years)
  17. Keith Brooking, ILB, Broncos. Age: 37.
  18. Paris Lenon, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 35.
  19. Demorrio Williams, ILB, Chargers. Age: 33.
  20. Moise Fokou, ILB, Colts. Age: 28. -- Signed with Titans
  21. Brandon Siler, ILB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
  22. Barrett Ruud, ILB, Texans. Age: 30.
  23. Stewart Bradley, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Broncos (1 year)

  24. Zac Diles, ILB, Titans. Age: 28. -- Signed with Chiefs
  25. Stevenson Sylvester (RFA), ILB, Steelers. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Steelers
  26. Brendon Ayanbadejo, ILB, Ravens. Age: 36.
  27. Brandon Johnson, ILB, Steelers. Age: 30.
  28. Marvin Mitchell, ILB, Vikings. Age: 28.
  29. Tavares Gooden, ILB, 49ers. Age: 28.
  30. Brady Poppinga, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 33.
  31. Ricky Brown, ILB, Ravens. Age: 29.
  32. Josh Mauga (RFA), ILB, Jets. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Jets (1 year)
  33. Omar Gaither, ILB, Raiders. Age: 29.
  34. Rob Francois (RFA), ILB, Packers. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Packers
  35. A.J. Edds (RFA), ILB, Colts. Age: 25.
  36. Bryan Kehl, ILB, Redskins. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Redskins
  37. Dane Fletcher (RFA), ILB, Patriots. Age: 26.
  38. Keyaron Fox, ILB, Texans. Age: 31.

2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | Winners/Losers

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Hawthorne is a saint now
Auth 03-23-2012 12:37 am (total posts: 1)
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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     18

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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