I would go further than Walt did on our D-Line and give us one star. Benson Mayowa & Ryan Russell are our starting DEs for at least 4 games and they have 1 1/2 sacks between them & Irving who may have to rotate in. Gregory looks like he's possibly done for the year and Lawrence had issues at Boise so it's not like this is new territory for him even though this is his first suspension. We should've picked Ramsey and looked heavily at DL but we are going with Mayowa & Russell. Our pass rush will absolutely suck unless Russell shows big improvement and Mayowa becomes more than he has been so far.
2013 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2013.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tim Dobbins, ILB, Texans. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Texans
Rey Maualuga, ILB, Bengals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Bengals (2 years, $6.5 million)
Jasper Brinkley, ILB, Vikings. Age: 28. -- Signed with Cardinals (2 years)
Keith Brooking, ILB, Broncos. Age: 37.
Paris Lenon, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 35.
Demorrio Williams, ILB, Chargers. Age: 33.
Moise Fokou, ILB, Colts. Age: 28. -- Signed with Titans
Brandon Siler, ILB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
Barrett Ruud, ILB, Texans. Age: 30.
Stewart Bradley, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Broncos (1 year)
Zac Diles, ILB, Titans. Age: 28. -- Signed with Chiefs