2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
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2013 NFL Free Agency:
Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2013.
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2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
Paul Kruger, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 27.
Signed with Browns (5 years, $41 million)
Paul Kruger notched nine sacks during the regular season and then three more against the Colts in the playoffs. He also was solid in coverage.
Philip Wheeler, OLB, Raiders. Age: 28.
Signed with Dolphins (5 years, $26 million)
Philip Wheeler was one of the most improved players in the NFL this past season. He thrived in every aspect, including blitzing, and he's earned a huge pay day this spring. And to think, the Raiders obtained him for a mere 1-year, $700,000 contract during the previous offseason.
Daryl Smith, OLB, Jaguars. Age: 31.
Signed with Ravens
Daryl Smith has never received much attention from the media, but he's been one of the top 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL over the years. Unfortunately, he played in just two games this season because of a groin injury, and he'll be 31 in March, so his skills are in the process of eroding.
Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Texans. Age: 26.
Signed with Eagles
Connor Barwin is coming off a very disappointing 2012 campaign. After registering 11.5 sacks in 2011, he managed just three this past season. He's talented, so there's a good chance this was just a fluky year.
Kevin Burnett, OLB, Dolphins. Age: 30.
Signed with Raiders
Kevin Burnett, like Karlos Dansby, was part of Miami's minor-upgrade purge. Burnett is a very talented linebacker with no glaring weaknesses in his game. The only downside is that he'll be 31 in December.
James Harrison, DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 35.
Signed with Bengals (2 years)
James Harrison can still put good pressure on the quarterback, but given that he turns 35 in May, it's fair to wonder how long that'll last. He's also injury-prone, so that doesn't help his cause.
Shaun Phillips, DE/OLB, Chargers. Age: 32.
Signed with Broncos
Shaun Phillips recorded close to double-digit sacks and was stout in coverage this season, though he was a big liability against the run. He'll be 32 in May, unfortunately.
Nick Barnett, OLB, Bills. Age: 32.
Nick Barnett is a very solid linebacker who thrives in both run support and pass coverage. The only knock on him is his age; he'll be 32 in May. He can still perform pretty well though.
Thomas Howard, OLB, Bengals. Age: 30.
Thomas Howard missed all but one game in 2012 with a torn ACL. It was impressive that Cincinnati's defense still played well despite missing such a solid linebacker.
Manny Lawson, OLB, Bengals. Age: 29.
Signed with Bills
The Bengals asked Manny Lawson to rush the passer and stop the run, and he did that very well. He's not good in coverage, however.
Justin Durant, OLB, Lions. Age: 27.
Signed with Cowboys
Justin Durant has been very solid in run support for the Lions over the past couple of years. He should be limited to two downs though because he's not that good in coverage.
Erin Henderson, OLB, Vikings. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Vikings (2 years)
A quality run-defender, Erin Henderson should be limited to two downs because he can be exposed in coverage.
D.J. Williams, OLB, Broncos. Age: 31.
Signed with Bears
D.J. Williams has missed lots of time over the past couple of years because of injuries and suspensions. He can be a decent starter if he's on the field, but he'll be 31 in July.
Leroy Hill, OLB, Seahawks. Age: 30.
Leroy Hill had a solid 2012 campaign as a two-down linebacker until late in the season when he dealt with a lingering hamstring injury.
Victor Butler, DE/OLB, Cowboys. Age: 26.
Signed with Saints
Victor Butler has shown some solid pass-rushing ability in his brief action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
Antwan Barnes, DE/OLB, Chargers. Age: 28.
Signed with Jets
Antwan Barnes is a solid pass-rushing specialist. He recorded 11 sacks in 2011, but didn't do much last year because of a bothersome hamstring injury.
Nick Roach, OLB, Bears. Age: 28.
Signed with Raiders
Nick Roach hasn't been a liability as a starting linebacker, but Chicago can do better.
DeAndre Levy, OLB, Lions. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Lions
DeAndre Levy is a big liability in run support, but he's much better on passing downs.
Rob Jackson, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)
A former seventh-round pick, Rob Jackson made the most of his opportunity when Brian Orakpo went down with a season-ending injury. Jackson was solid in coverage.
Calvin Pace, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 32.
Re-signed with Jets (1 year)
Calvin Pace, 33 in October, looked like he had nothing in the tank this past season, as he registered only three sacks. Maybe he can bounce back, but his career looks like it's quickly coming to an end.
Bryan Thomas, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 34.
Bryan Thomas played through a torn chest injury in 2012. He wasn't bad considering that, but it's fair to wonder if his body is breaking down.
Kaluka Maiava, OLB, Browns. Age: 26.
Signed with Raiders (3 years, $6 million)
Kaluka Maiava started games at both strongside and weakside linebacker this year. He handled himself pretty well as a two-down player.
Keith Rivers, OLB, Giants. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Giants
Keith Rivers has the potential to be ranked way better, but he can't stay healthy.
- Quentin Groves, DE/OLB, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Browns (2 years, $2.8 million)
- Jonathan Casillas, OLB, Saints. Age: 26. -- Signed with Buccaneers (1 year)
- Chris Gocong, OLB, Browns. Age: 29.
- Gerald McRath, OLB, Titans. Age: 27.
- James Anderson, OLB, Panthers. Age: 29. -- Signed with Bears (1 year)
- Michael Boley, OLB, Giants. Age: 31.
- Rocky McIntosh, OLB, Rams. Age: 30.
- Erik Walden, DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 28. -- Signed with Colts
- Lorenzo Alexander, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 30. -- Signed with Cardinals (3 years)
- Geno Hayes, OLB, Bears. Age: 26. -- Signed with Jaguars
- Jason Phillips (RFA), OLB, Panthers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Eagles (2 years)
- Dan Skuta, OLB, Bengals. Age: 27. -- Signed with 49ers (2 years)
- Akeem Jordan, OLB, Eagles. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chiefs
- Ernie Sims, OLB, Cowboys. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Cowboys
- Chris Wilson, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 31.
- Will Witherspoon, OLB, Titans. Age: 33.
- Frank Zombo (RFA), DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 26. -- Signed with Chiefs
- Scott Shanle, OLB, Saints. Age: 33.
- Jordan Senn, OLB, Panthers. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Panthers
- Quincy Black, OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 29.
- Mario Haggan, OLB, Rams. Age: 33.
- Scott Fujita, OLB, Browns. Age: 34. -- Announced retirement
- Jamaal Westerman, DE/OLB, Colts. Age: 28.
- Andy Studebaker, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
- Clark Haggans, DE/OLB, 49ers. Age: 36.
- Tracy White, OLB, Patriots. Age: 32.
- Mike Peterson, OLB, Falcons. Age: 37.
- Jesse Nading, DE/OLB, Texans. Age: 28.
- Austin Spitler (RFA), OLB, Dolphins. Age: 26. -- Tendered by Dolphins
- Niko Koutouvides, OLB, Patriots. Age: 32. -- Re-signed with Patriots
- Will Herring, OLB, Saints. Age: 30.
- Jacob Cutrera (RFA), OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Buccaneers
- Ramon Humber, OLB, Saints. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Saints
- Justin Cole (RFA), OLB, Rams. Age: 25.
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