2019 NFL Free Agents: Outside Linebackers

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2019 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2019.
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  1. K.J. Wright, OLB, Seahawks. Age: 30.
    Re-signed with Seahawks (2 years, $15 million)

    K.J. Wright has been an excellent linebacker for the Seahawks in all regards throughout this decade. He turns 30 this offseason, but still should continue to play on a high level. Wright was on the field for just five games in 2018 because of a knee injury, but he should be 100 percent for 2019.

  2. Za’Darius Smith, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 26.
    Signed with Packers (4 years, $66 million)

    Za’Darius Smith is a very promising young edge rusher. He recorded 8.5 sacks in 2018, and he wasn’t even a full-time player. He could break into double-digit sacks next year depending on where he goes, or if he returns and Terrell Suggs retires.

  3. Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 28.
    Franchised by Chiefs

    Dee Ford is a late bloomer. He struggled early in his career, but had a breakout season in 2018, notching 13 sacks. He wasn’t very good in run support, which is why he isn’t rated higher than four stars.

  4. Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 30.
    Signed with Colts (2 years, $24 million)

    Justin Houston is a huge name, but he’s been a declining player in recent years. Thanks to injuries – he has played more than 12 games just once since 2014 – he has failed to register double-digit sacks in the past four years. Houston could rebound, but he turned 30 recently, so there’s a chance he could just continue to have injury-plagued seasons.

  5. Terrell Suggs, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 36.
    Signed with Cardinals

    Terrell Suggs somehow continues to be very productive despite his age. He racked up seven sacks in 2018 after logging 11 sacks the year before. Suggs has shown no signs of slowing down, but he’ll turn 37 in October, so the end has to be near.

  6. Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, Falcons. Age: 31.
    Signed with Panthers (1 year)

    Bruce Irvin was problematic in Oakland’s locker room, which is why the team got rid of him. Irvin was slow to adjust to the Falcons, but found his stride late in the year when he recorded 3.5 sacks in the final four games. Irvin could begin slowing down, however, as he turns 32 right before Thanksgiving.

  7. Lorenzo Alexander, LB, Bills. Age: 36.
    Re-signed with Bills (1 year)

    Lorenzo Alexander is coming off a great season, thriving in all facets. He covered well in space, dominated in run support and collected 6.5 sacks. Unfortunately, he turns 36 in May.

  8. Anthony Barr, OLB, Vikings. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Vikings (5 years, $67.5 million; $33 million guaranteed)

    Anthony Barr is an excellent run-stopping linebacker, but he is a liability in coverage. He’s still young, but perhaps he should be a two-down player.

  9. Jamie Collins, OLB. Age: 29.
    Signed with Patriots

    Jamie Collins was once a valuable member of New England’s defense. The Patriots then traded Collins to Cleveland, where he had two-and-a-half disappointing seasons. Cutting Collins, who turns 30 in October, was a no-brainer for the Browns, as his release clears $10.5 million off the books.

  10. Thomas Davis, OLB, Panthers. Age: 36.
    Signed with Chargers

    Thomas Davis played well in 2018 despite being 35 years old. He was solid in coverage, proving that he can still perform decently despite being in his mid-30s.

  11. Shaq Barrett, DE/OLB, Broncos. Age: 26.
    Signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $5 million)

    Shaq Barrett is a solid situational pass-rusher who plays the run well, too. Barrett didn’t have a chance to compete for a starting job behind Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Perhaps he’ll get that chance elsewhere.

  12. Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Ravens. Age: 26.
    Shane Ray has been a huge disappointment with the Broncos, logging just two sacks in the past two years. However, Ray is a former first-round pick, and he’s still young, so perhaps he can turn his career around in a new home.

  13. Eddie Yarbrough (RFA), DE/OLB, Bills. Age: 26.
    Tendered by Bills

    Eddie Yarbrough had a spectacular training camp in the summer of 2017, but that hasn’t translated to live action. Still, Yarbrough is just 26, so he has plenty of potential.

  14. Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB, Bears. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Bears

    Aaron Lynch is a talented edge player who stops the run very well. However, he has an extensive history of injuries and off-the-field issues, which makes him a risky player to have on the roster.

  15. Clay Matthews, DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 33.
    Signed with Rams (2 years)

    Clay Matthews looked like a shell of his former self in 2018, logging just 3.5 sacks. He had some sacks nullified because of bogus penalties, but Matthews was definitely not the same player. He might have one more solid season left in the tank, but it’s probably more likely that his career is over.

  16. Anthony Chickillo, DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Steelers (2 years)
  17. Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Bears. Age: 30. — Signed with Bills
  18. Brandon Copeland, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Jets
  19. Najee Goode, OLB/ST, Colts. Age: 30. — Signed with Jaguars
  20. Eli Harold, DE/OLB, Eagles. Age: 25.
  21. Reggie Gilbert (RFA), DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 26.
  22. Adarius Taylor, OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 28. — Signed with Browns
  23. Matt Longacre, DE/OLB, Rams. Age: 27.
  24. Dekota Watson, OLB, Broncos. Age: 31.
  25. Vincent Rey, OLB, Bengals. Age: 31.
  26. Malcolm Smith, OLB, 49ers. Age: 30.
  27. Kemal Ishmael, OLB, Falcons. Age: 31.
  28. Albert McClellan, OLB, Patriots. Age: 33.
  29. Connor Barwin, OLB, Giants. Age: 32.
  30. Deiontrez Mount, DE/OLB, Broncos. Age: 26.
  31. Ramon Humber, OLB, Bills. Age: 32.
  32. Cameron Lynch, OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 26.
  33. Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 27.
  34. Ben Jacobs, OLB, Panthers. Age: 31.
  35. Jared Norris (RFA), OLB, Panthers. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Panthers

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