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View Full Version : Positional free agency discussion: LBs


killxswitch
06-23-2011, 08:49 AM
Other discussions:
Defensive Line Discussion (http://draftcountdown.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47771)
Offensive Line Discussion (http://draftcountdown.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47780)

The truly exciting free agent LBs this year have already been tagged as franchise players and will receive ~$10M next year if they don't negotiate new contracts. There will be some noteworthy free agents, especially 4-3 LBs, but nothing to get terribly excited about.

Franchised: Lamarr Woodley, Chad Greenway, David Harris, Tamba Hali

James Anderson - Had a surprisingly effective year starting at SLB for the Panthers with lots of tackles and good run support. With two big contracts needed for Kalil and C Johnson the Panthers might not want to pay him what he wants.

Paul Pozluzney - With Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus in front of him Poz could start a new and exciting chapter in his career with the Bills. I expect him to stay there but with Ralph Wilson you never know.

Keith Bulluck - Old as dirt but could still be effective especially with the right DL in front of him. I bet he ends up in Detroit.

Manny Lawson - The 9ers drafted Aldon Smith early and supposedly want more pass rush from the OLB position. Lawson will probably go somewhere else, possibly to a 4-3 team.

Clint Session - I love this guy's passion but hate his lack of discipline. Lots of potential still waiting to be fully unlocked. He covers pretty well, can lay the wood in run support, and has rushed the passer in a limited-but-effective capacity. Also abandons his gap responsibility too often to freelance. He doesn't always guess right. His backup Kavell Connor was surprisingly good last year so I think the Colts will let him test free agency.

Barrett Ruud - Lots of hate for this guy from Bucs fans, and he appears to be frustrated with Tampa Bay. He collects a lot of tackles, covers pretty well, and is a positive, high-character guy for locker rooms. There should be plenty of 4-3 interest. On the other hand the Bucs will have to spend some money to get above the salary floor, so maybe they will throw some money his way.

Other notables - Leroy Hill, Kirk Morrison, D'Qwell Jackson, Vernon Gholston, Andre Carter, Julian Peterson, Mike Peterson, Takeo Spikes, Kirk Morrison, Mike Vrabel, Jason Taylor

asdf1223
06-23-2011, 11:44 AM
I would put Leroy Hill there. Two years ago he was franchised by the Hawks and then got a 36million dollar deal. But two years of injuries and off field issues meant that he just got lost in the shuffle. Seahawks def wont resign him as too much money already with the Linebackers. If he's healthy (and thats a big if) he's a terrific run defender, decent in coverage, good at blitzing. A team like Cleveland makes a ton of sense.

Monomach
06-23-2011, 12:49 PM
If Manny Lawson plays SLB for a 4-3 team, he's going to look damned good.

killxswitch
06-23-2011, 02:17 PM
If Manny Lawson plays SLB for a 4-3 team, he's going to look damned good.

I agree, I think he would do well with the Titans or Eagles, or really a lot of 4-3 teams could probably use him. He's a weird size for a 4-3 LB but his skillset fits.

I would put Leroy Hill there. Two years ago he was franchised by the Hawks and then got a 36million dollar deal. But two years of injuries and off field issues meant that he just got lost in the shuffle. Seahawks def wont resign him as too much money already with the Linebackers. If he's healthy (and thats a big if) he's a terrific run defender, decent in coverage, good at blitzing. A team like Cleveland makes a ton of sense.

I added him to the notables section but I don't think any team is going to throw much money his way. Two years is a long time in the NFL.

Rosebud
06-23-2011, 02:23 PM
If Manny Lawson plays SLB for a 4-3 team, he's going to look damned good.

If we've given up on Sintim playing SLB he'd be a great fit for the giants. Between him and Boley we'd have two LBs who can run and cover well enough for our Nickel package.

Ness
06-23-2011, 03:01 PM
If Manny Lawson plays SLB for a 4-3 team, he's going to look damned good.

That's what I'm afraid of. Letting him go and then he balloons somewhere else, finally. I used to have a lot of disdain for Lawson, but further examination revealed that he got just as much pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He just had a lot less snaps in terms of blitzing. That being said, I'm not sure how the new 49ers staff would use him. Early word on the street is that he isn't in the future plans for the new 3-4. He'd probably be more ideal for a 4-3 anyways.

K Train
06-23-2011, 03:42 PM
if i was a 43 team id still take a chance on gholston

killxswitch
06-23-2011, 04:03 PM
if i was a 43 team id still take a chance on gholston

Vet minimum with some incentives. If he sucks, cut him. Zero risk. I don't think he'll do anything but the upside is worth the camp roster spot.

BlindSite
06-23-2011, 08:11 PM
James Anderson - Had a surprisingly effective year starting at SLB for the Panthers with lots of tackles and good run support. With two big contracts needed for Kalil and C Johnson the Panthers might not want to pay him what he wants.



He is a very good player, money won't be the issue in Carolina, available playing time however might well be. Depending on what they want to do they'll have Anderson, Connor, Beason and Thomas Davis. Realistically though only two of those guys, Connor and Anderson will be vying for the SLB slot. The Panthers are massively under the projected cap (close to 70mill) so the money isn't an issue, it's whether they and he sees himself as the future starter.

He was a real dark horse last year, one of the best at stopping players in coverage and very good against the run. He was off the radar due to him being pretty much a workout warrior and understudy early but he's come into his own.

Detroit could use him in a big way as could a lot of teams around the league. Interesting to see where he lands if he gets free.

TitanHope
06-23-2011, 10:30 PM
I agree, I think he would do well with the Titans or Eagles, or really a lot of 4-3 teams could probably use him.

I'd LOVE Lawson, but we just drafted Akeem Ayers to fill this exact role.

He's not listed, but Stephen Tulloch will likely be a FA once the new CBA is established, so they'll either have to re-sign him, sign a new MIKE in FA, or do some roster shuffling by moving Will Witherspoon or Gerald McRath inside. If they move Spoon or McRath inside, that'll open up an OLB spot so perhaps they'd prefer a vet and let Ayers develop and use him mostly in blitzing situations.

AntoinCD
06-24-2011, 05:08 PM
Vet minimum with some incentives. If he sucks, cut him. Zero risk. I don't think he'll do anything but the upside is worth the camp roster spot.

If I was a betting man I would probably say he ends up in camp with the Patriots. It is a Belichick like move. Worst case scenario he doesn't do anything and he gets let go before the season. Best case he contributes to a poor pass rush and screws the Jets in the process

MucBuc
06-25-2011, 06:52 AM
Barrett Ruud - Lots of hate for this guy from Bucs fans, and he appears to be frustrated with Tampa Bay. He collects a lot of tackles, covers pretty well, and is a positive, high-character guy for locker rooms. There should be plenty of 4-3 interest. On the other hand the Bucs will have to spend some money to get above the salary floor, so maybe they will throw some money his way.

Yes, he "collects" tackles by jumping on piles or running by the ballcarrier as he goes down. On other occasions, he's standing flat-footed in his gap and waits for the ballcarrier, only to get juked out of his shoes, simply run by, run over, or dragged for several yards before someone else comes in to finish the job.
Yet there's several people within the Bucs organization and NFL analysts that think highly of him. His strengths are his ability to cover, and apparently he's very good at pre-snap reads and setting up the defense.
A very polarizing player, should be interesting to see what his market value will be.

While I don't really like him, one can make an argument that he played behind some pretty poor D-Lines for most of his career. So I wouldn't be too disappointed if he's back and gets to show his stuff with a (hopefully) better supporting cast this year.

jack1077
06-25-2011, 07:16 AM
Vet minimum with some incentives. If he sucks, cut him. Zero risk. I don't think he'll do anything but the upside is worth the camp roster spot.

I would love to see an AFC East team turn him into a HOF candidate.

diabsoule
06-25-2011, 07:17 AM
if i was a 43 team id still take a chance on gholston

Wait for it....

He'd be awesome on the Saints! They should have traded for him.

Maybe This Year Mayhew
06-25-2011, 11:01 AM
I'd take 2 of Tulloch and either Manny Lawson,James Anderson,Justin Durant, Rocky McIntosh or Thomas Howard to Detroit please. Even Nick Roach for lesser money since 4 year free agents are available or Ben Leber though he is older. Good year for the Lions to need LBs.

Halsey
06-25-2011, 11:36 AM
Stephen Nicholas should be a notable. He's probably a more valuable player at this point than Mike Peterson.

diabsoule
06-25-2011, 03:22 PM
Stephen Nicholas should be a notable. He's probably a more valuable player at this point than Mike Peterson.

I'm a fan of Nicholas. He's a tackling machine and a solid LB.

DeepThreat
06-27-2011, 09:12 PM
D'Qwell Jackson signed a 1-year contract with the Browns and is not a free agent.

DoughBoy
06-27-2011, 10:22 PM
I'd LOVE Lawson, but we just drafted Akeem Ayers to fill this exact role.

He's not listed, but Stephen Tulloch will likely be a FA once the new CBA is established, so they'll either have to re-sign him, sign a new MIKE in FA, or do some roster shuffling by moving Will Witherspoon or Gerald McRath inside. If they move Spoon or McRath inside, that'll open up an OLB spot so perhaps they'd prefer a vet and let Ayers develop and use him mostly in blitzing situations.

I will cry if we bring back Tulloch. I know some Titans fans like him, but to me he is the Lamont Thompson of linebackers. Ayers, McRath, Curran and McCarthy are the future... might as well find out what we have in them.

Maybe This Year Mayhew
06-28-2011, 11:58 AM
I will cry if we bring back Tulloch. I know some Titans fans like him, but to me he is the Lamont Thompson of linebackers. Ayers, McRath, Curran and McCarthy are the future... might as well find out what we have in them.

Just curious as a Detroit fan why you don't like Tulloch. Or is he just not worth the money to you when you have all those other young guys on the roster. I think he would really help Detroit and fit Schwartz scheme obviously and move Levy back outside. I thought he was a good run stopper at least. Pass coverage problems?

DoughBoy
06-28-2011, 07:20 PM
Just curious as a Detroit fan why you don't like Tulloch. Or is he just not worth the money to you when you have all those other young guys on the roster. I think he would really help Detroit and fit Schwartz scheme obviously and move Levy back outside. I thought he was a good run stopper at least. Pass coverage problems?

He is a huge liability in pass coverage and gets washed out alot. I think he would be a much better fit for Detroit since Suh and Fairley should keep him clean. He is just a boom or epic fail player on every snap.

BlindSite
06-28-2011, 07:32 PM
He's an adequate role player but he's in no way good enough to be a starter in that division. Think of the tight ends that he faces with regularity in GB and Chicago, not to mention the running game of minnesota. They need a free running hitter at the position someone who flows through to the ball and can cover, he's neither of those things.

Monomach
06-29-2011, 08:46 AM
I'd take 2 of Tulloch and either Manny Lawson,James Anderson,Justin Durant, Rocky McIntosh or Thomas Howard to Detroit please. Even Nick Roach for lesser money since 4 year free agents are available or Ben Leber though he is older. Good year for the Lions to need LBs.

You can have Nick Roach, but only if we get to sign Manny Lawson to replace him.

Roach is solid, but Lawson would be amazing in Chicago with his coverage skills.

bucfan12
06-29-2011, 12:15 PM
Barrett Ruud is very painful to watch. He doesn't attack the ball running back and makes him come to him and make the tackle 5+ yds down the field (which is why his tackles stats are inflated). He doesn't make any big plays and won't fill gaps. He has a terrible time shedding blocks and honestly, isn't a true MLB.

He's a smart and instinctive player who is a great leader, however MLB is not his natural fit. He is very good in coverage, which is why I think he'd be more successful playing WLB.

BlindSite
06-29-2011, 08:29 PM
Barrett Ruud is very painful to watch. He doesn't attack the ball running back and makes him come to him and make the tackle 5+ yds down the field (which is why his tackles stats are inflated). He doesn't make any big plays and won't fill gaps. He has a terrible time shedding blocks and honestly, isn't a true MLB.

He's a smart and instinctive player who is a great leader, however MLB is not his natural fit. He is very good in coverage, which is why I think he'd be more successful playing WLB.

I like Ruud bit I think he needs a more penetrative player beside him on the strong side, but you're right he does struggle in run support, something I noticed during the Carolina / Tampa games, he'll make a tackle but he's often neutralised by blockers.

jannypan
07-02-2011, 02:15 AM
I think he would do well with the Titans or Eagles, or really a lot of 4-3 teams could probably use him. He's a weird size for a 4-3 LB but his skillset fits.
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SativaDominant
07-02-2011, 12:25 PM
Barrett Ruud is very painful to watch. He doesn't attack the ball running back and makes him come to him and make the tackle 5+ yds down the field (which is why his tackles stats are inflated). He doesn't make any big plays and won't fill gaps. He has a terrible time shedding blocks and honestly, isn't a true MLB.

He's a smart and instinctive player who is a great leader, however MLB is not his natural fit. He is very good in coverage, which is why I think he'd be more successful playing WLB.

Yeah, he's essential the NFL version of James Laurinaitis. Unfortunately for the Bucs, I think they're going to hand him a fat deal, because they'll need to dole out a ton of money to get over the proposed cap floor.