2018 NFL Free Agents: Outside Linebackers

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2018 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2018.
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  1. Nigel Bradham, OLB, Eagles. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Eagles (5 years)

    Nigel Bradham is a stellar three-down linebacker in the NFL who excels in coverage. He turns 29 in September, so he should be able to perform on a high level for the next three years or so.

  2. Mychal Kendricks, OLB, Browns. Age: 27.
    Talent is certainly not the reason why Mychal Kendricks was released, as he had a terrific 2017 campaign. Kendricks was owed close to $6 million in 2018, so the Eagles needed to trade him to create cap space. They couldn’t find a partner, so Kendricks was cut. Kendricks can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4, though he’s better in the former, and as a skilled linebacker in all facets, he should find a home quickly.

  3. Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Cowboys. Age: 26.
    Signed with Chiefs

    Anthony Hitchens has done a great job of improving his game over the years. He was solid this past season, particularly in run support. He’s still young – 26 in June – so he could continue to upgrade his play.

  4. Shaq Barrett (RFA), DE/OLB, Broncos. Age: 25.
    Tendered by Broncos (2nd round)

    Shaq Barrett is a promising, young outside linebacker. He had two strong seasons to begin his career, but struggled a bit this year because of a hip injury that sidelined him in training camp.

  5. Pernell McPhee, DE/OLB, Bears. Age: 29.
    Signed with Redskins

    Pernell McPhee is productive when he gets to play – 14 sacks for the Bears over the past three seasons – but he’s had trouble staying healthy. McPhee has missed 12 games in that span, and given that he turns 30 in December, his durability likely won’t get any better.

  6. Junior Galette, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 30.
    Junior Galette missed two consecutive seasons with Achilles injuries, but had a solid return in 2017 with a few sacks. Perhaps he’ll be better in his second year back from injury, but he’ll be turning 30 in March. He also comes with some off-the-field issues.

  7. Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Lions. Age: 28.
    Signed with Raiders

    Tahir Whitehead was Detroit’s best linebacker in 2017, though that’s not saying much. Whitehead was great in run support, but struggled a bit in coverage.

  8. Paul Posluszny, OLB, Jaguars. Age: 33.
    Announced retirement

    Paul Posluszny has been reduced to a two-down linebacker, which is understandable at his age. However, he performed extremely well in that role as a fierce defender in run support. Posluszny, 34 in October, is not nearly the same in coverage now.

  9. Matt Longacre (RFA), DE/OLB, Rams. Age: 26.
    Tendered by Rams (original round)

    Matt Longacre did well as a rotational edge rusher in Wade Phillips’ defense this past season, logging 5.5 sacks in limited snaps. Longacre will be able to earn a starting job in the near future.

  10. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Colts. Age: 27.
    Signed with Seahawks (2 years)

    Barkevious Mingo was the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but has yet to hit double-digit career sacks. He hasn’t been a total bust, however, because he has shown the ability to defend the run well and cover very effectively.

  11. Elvis Dumervil, DE/OLB, 49ers. Age: 34.
    Announced retirement

    Evis Dumervil recorded 6.5 sacks this past season. Not bad for a 33-year-old, part-time player! Dumervil just turned 34 and will continue to regress, but he should have one or two more decent seasons remaining in the tank as a rotational edge rusher.

  12. Jerry Attaochu, DE/OLB, 49ers. Age: 25.
    Jerry Attaochu was a former second-round pick, but hasn’t quite lived up to it. He didn’t even log a single sack in 2017. That said, he didn’t have many snaps behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, so perhaps he’ll improve if he gets more of a chance.

  13. Willie Young, DE/OLB, Bears. Age: 32.
    Willie Young registered 7.5 sacks in 2016, but saw that number drop to two this past season because he played in only four games, thanks to knee and triceps injuries. Young turns 33 in September, but could still be a decent rotational edge rusher.

  14. James Harrison, DE/OLB, Patriots. Age: 40.
    Announced retirement

    James Harrison will probably retire after this season, but he could probably still play one more year. He showed that he still has some juice with two sacks against the Jets in Week 17.

  15. Connor Barwin, DE/OLB, Rams. Age: 31.
    Signed with Giants

    Connor Barwin can still get to the quarterback – he had five sacks in 2017 – but he is a regressing player, as he’ll turn 32 in October.

  16. Ahmad Brooks, DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 34.
    Ahmad Brooks has seen his pass-rushing skills erode, but he was still excellent in run support this past season. He’s now 34, however, so he’ll continue to decline.

  17. Erik Walden, DE/OLB, Titans. Age: 33. — Signed with Seahawks
  18. Devon Kennard, OLB, Giants. Age: 27. — Signed with Lions (3 years)
  19. Arthur Moats, DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 30. — Signed with Cardinals
  20. Paul Worrilow, OLB, Lions. Age: 28. — Signed with Eagles
  21. Kemal Ishmael, OLB, Falcons. Age: 27.
  22. Kyle Wilber, OLB, Cowboys. Age: 29. — Signed with Raiders
  23. Keenan Robinson, OLB, Giants. Age: 29.
  24. Shea McClellin, OLB, Patriots. Age: 29.
  25. Jonathan Casillas, OLB, Giants. Age: 31.
  26. Anthony Chickillo (RFA), DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 25. — Tendered by Steelers (original round)
  27. Michael Wilhoite, OLB, Seahawks. Age: 31.
  28. Emmanuel Lamur, OLB, Vikings. Age: 29. — Signed with Raiders
  29. Kasim Edebali, OLB, Saints. Age: 29.
  30. Chris McCain (RFA), DE/OLB, Chargers. Age: 26.
  31. Adarius Glanton (RFA), OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Buccaneers
  32. Najee Goode, OLB, Eagles. Age: 29. — Signed with Colts
  33. Ramon Humber, OLB, Bills. Age: 31. — Re-signed with Bills
  34. Andrew Gachkar, OLB, Panthers. Age: 29.
  35. Jonathan Freeny, OLB, Saints. Age: 29. — Signed with Lions

  36. Terence Garvin, OLB, Seahawks. Age: 27. — Signed with Dolphins
  37. Brandon Copeland (RFA), OLB, Lions. Age: 27. — Signed with Jets
  38. Chris Carter, OLB, Redskins. Age: 29.
  39. Jordan Tripp, OLB, Falcons. Age: 27.
  40. Bruce Carter, OLB, Jets. Age: 30.
  41. Neville Hewitt (RFA), OLB, Dolphins. Age: 25.

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