Free Agency Preview: Linebackers
Top unrestricted free agent linebackers:
1. Karlos Dansby: The premier free agent defender after Julius Peppers, Dansby is a playmaker against the run and pass, and versatile enough for any scheme. After early-career durability issues, he's only missed one game over the last two years for the Cardinals.
2. Gary Brackett: Brackett has been among the game's most productive tacklers since taking over as Indianapolis' middle linebacker in 2005. He fits best in a Tampa-2 scheme and the Colts want to keep him.
3. Jason Taylor: Though nearing age 35, Taylor registered seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 2009. He remains an explosive rusher, but is no longer suited to play all three downs.
4. Keith Bulluck: Bulluck's market would've been bigger had he not torn his ACL in Week 15. He's a leader, is 33 years old.
5. Scott Fujita: New Orleans' late-season run defense collapsed with Fujita and Sedrick Ellis both injured. Fujita turns 31 in April, but could be a stopgap for a club breaking in its strong-side starter of the future.
6. Joey Porter: Porter, who the Dolphins have informed of his impending release, had nine sacks in 2009 but ranked just 89th in the league in quarterback hurries (13). He won't get his wish of being an every-down linebacker.
Interesting names that could get cut:
2. Channing Crowder, Dolphins: Crowder is coming off a career-worst season that ended on a Week Sixteen foot injury that required surgery.
Boy if this isn't the year that we restock our LB's then we will be in trouble.
Look at the age of all those guys, they're all old. I know it's because of the FA/RFA thing in the uncapped year, but Dansby's agent has to be using that to his advantage to drive up his asking price. I don't think we're gonna break the bank on FA this year, I'm looking more towards the draft for our playmakers.