2014 NFL Free Agent Tracker: Inside Linebackers

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2014 NFL Free Agent Tracker: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2014.
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  1. Daryl Smith, ILB, Ravens. Age: 32.
    Signed with Ravens (4 years, $16.1 million)

    Daryl Smith has always been one of the better linebackers in the NFL, but no one knew about him because he played in Jacksonville. Smith made a name for himself this year with 123 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions. The only downside with him is his age (32 in March).

  2. Karlos Dansby, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 32.
    Signed with Browns (4 years, $24 million; $14 million guaranteed)

    Karlos Dansby, who played all but five of Arizona’s defensive snaps this past season, was a beast in his first year back with the Cardinals. A force in every facet of the game, Dansby earned himself a big contract. The only downside is that he’ll be 33 in November.

  3. Donald Butler, ILB, Chargers. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Chargers

    Donald Butler is a solid, young (26 in October) inside linebacker who can play all three downs. He struggled a bit in the first half of this past season because he was dealing with a groin issue, but he performed well to close out the year.

  4. Vinny Rey (RFA), ILB, Bengals. Age: 26.
    Tendered by Bengals

    Vinny Rey took over for an injured Rey Maualuga in the middle of the season and happened to be outstanding. Rey should’ve held on to the job, but Marvin Lewis inexplicably handed the starting role back to the ineffective Maualuga.

  5. D’Qwell Jackson, ILB, Browns. Age: 30.
    Signed with Colts (4 years, $22 million)

    D’Qwell Jackson, 31 in September, has struggled in run support over the past few seasons, but has been strong in coverage. He has also applied solid pressure on the quarterback as a blitzer. Jackson can still play all three downs, so he should serve as a decent starter somewhere.

  6. Perry Riley, ILB, Redskins. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Redskins (3 years, $13 million)

    Perry Riley had a strong 2012 campaign, but I’m not sure what happened to him because he was terrible this year. Perhaps his 2013 season will go down as a fluke.

  7. Erin Henderson, ILB, Vikings. Age: 28.
    Erin Henderson played well for the most part this past season as a three-down linebacker, but he’s been arrested twice for DUIs over the past four months.

  8. Brandon Spikes, ILB, Patriots. Age: 26.
    Signed with Bills (1 year)

    Brandon Spikes saw a drop in snaps this year because of his deficiencies in coverage. He’s still very stout in run support, however.

  9. Jon Beason, ILB, Giants. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Giants

    Injuries have sapped Jon Beason’s ability to cover, but he’s still strong against the run. He’s also a good leader, but he can’t seem to stay healthy.

  10. Pat Angerer, ILB, Colts. Age: 27.
    Pat Angerer is a talented linebacker, but he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He struggled this past season coming off knee surgery, but figures to be better in 2014.

  11. Desmond Bishop, ILB, Vikings. Age: 30.
    Signed with Cardinals

    Desmond Bishop is a very talented linebacker, but he tore his hamstring in 2012 and then his ACL this past season. He may have to settle for the veteran minimum, and if so, he’ll be a hell of a high-upside bargain.

  12. Daryl Sharpton, ILB, Texans. Age: 26.
    Signed with Redskins (1 year, $2 million)

    Daryl Sharpton took over as Houston’s three-down inside linebacker following Brian Cushing’s season-ending injury. He’s solid versus the run, but a bit of a liability in coverage.

  13. Akeem Jordan, ILB, Chiefs. Age: 28.
    Signed with Redskins

    Akeem Jordan can’t play three downs, but he’s a smart linebacker who provides very good run support.

  14. Jameel McClain, ILB, Ravens. Age: 29. — Signed with Giants
  15. D.J. Williams, ILB, Bears. Age: 31. — Re-signed with Bears
  16. Albert McClellan (RFA), ILB, Ravens. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Ravens (2 years)
  17. Arthur Moats, ILB, Bills. Age: 26. — Signed with Steelers (1 year)
  18. Larry Foote, ILB, Steelers. Age: 34. — Signed with Cardinals (1 year)
  19. Joe Mays, ILB, Texans. Age: 29. — Signed with Chiefs (2 years, $6 million)
  20. Reggie Walker, ILB, Chargers. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Chargers (2 years)
  21. Kavell Conner, ILB, Colts. Age: 27. — Signed with Chargers (3 years)
  22. Jasper Brinkley, ILB, Cardinals. Age: 29. — Signed with Vikings (1 year)
  23. Nick Barnett, ILB, Redskins. Age: 33.
  24. Jonathan Vilma, ILB, Saints. Age: 32.
  25. Mark Herzlich (RFA), ILB, Giants. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Giants
  26. Jamari Lattimore (RFA), ILB, Packers. Age: 25. — Tendered by Packers
  27. Ramon Humber, ILB, Saints. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Saints
  28. Bryan Kehl, ILB, Redskins. Age: 30.
  29. Dane Fletcher, ILB, Patriots. Age: 27. — Signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $2 million)
  30. Bront Bird (RFA), ILB, Chargers. Age: 25.
  31. Dan Connor, ILB, Panthers. Age: 28.
  32. Stewart Bradley, ILB, Broncos. Age: 30.
  33. Robert Francois, ILB, Packers. Age: 29.
  34. Nick Bellore, ILB, Jets. Age: 25. — Tendered by Jets
  35. Josh Mauga, ILB, Jets. Age: 27.
  36. Will Herring, ILB, Saints. Age: 31. — Signed with Cowboys
  37. Austin Spitler, ILB, Dolphins. Age: 27.
  38. Scott Lutrus (RFA), ILB, Colts. Age: 26.

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