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New Free Agency Winners and Losers

Top 2008 Free Agent LB

By: Greg Davis

QB | RB | WR | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST

Lance Briggs, UFA, Chicago Bears

Since 2004, Briggs has been a standout linebacker for the Bears. Hes overshadowed by Brian Urlacher much of the time, but Briggs gets the job done as is evidenced by the fact that hes totaled more than 100 tackles in each of the past four seasons and that hes added five sacks and five interceptions over that time. This season, he made 103 total tackles, along with two sacks and two forced fumbles. Teams are going to line up to try and entice Briggs to come play for them, and whichever team lands him will be adding one of the top weak-side defenders in the league. The chances of Briggs leaving seem good.

Predicted 2008 Team: Redskins Briggs would become the focal linebacker on a solid defense.

Kawika Mitchell UFA New York Giants

Mitchell tallied seasons of 105 tackles and 104 tackles in Kansas City prior to 2007. Mitchell had the opportunity to win a Super Bowl title, and he was a solid contributor even if his statistical numbers were down. He was able to make 76 total tackles, force two fumbles, record 3.5 sacks, and return an interception for a score to help the Giants secure a playoff spot. Mitchell may not be the biggest prize as a free agent, but if he doesnt stay in New York, he will be a solid addition for any team that needs linebacker help.

Predicted 2008 Team: Giants Mitchell was too valuable to the Super Bowl run to just let him go.

Mark Simoneau UFA New Orleans Saints

Simoneau hasnt overly impressed with his play in recent seasons, but he was a crucial part of the Saints success in 2006. His effort and ability to make timely plays paid big dividends early in the season and helped the team get off to a strong start. In 2007 he posted 70 tackles this season, two sacks, and hes a veteran who knows how to play the game. Hes a liability in coverage at times, and doesnt strike fear into opponents, but hes a decent player that will find a place to play if the Saints dont work to extend his contract.

Predicted 2008 Team: Dolphins - The Dolphins need more at this position, and Simoneau is a legitimate starter.

Tedy Bruschi, UFA, New England Patriots

The safe bet is that Bruschi will retire once his contract ends after the season, but if he can be convinced to play another season or two, hell be able to attract decent attention as a leader with valuable playoff experience and championships under his belt. In fifteen games during the 06 season, Bruschi logged 112 total tackles and an interception, all after coming back from a stroke. This past season, he had 92 tackles and two sacks, even though he had to share some time at his position and the Patriots were on the winning end of several blowouts. Bruschi has proven that hes not only talented and has a natural ability for the game, but also that hes one tough customer with a work heart that cant be measured. He is a unique breed of a player.

Predicted 2008 Team: Patriots Bruschi would likely only come back for a chance at a ring.

Danny Clark UFA Houston Texans

Hes played for three teams in three seasons, and he was making a decent impact in Houston during 2007, until an injury later in the season. Clark totaled 113 tackles in 2005 with Oakland and then went to New Orleans, where he played sparingly. In thirteen games this season, he 51 total tackles and had an interception to his credit. Clark isnt anywhere near an elite player, but he can be an asset in a depth role or alongside top-quality linebackers.

Predicted 2008 Team: Patriots If Bruschi retires, Clark becomes a viable veteran option.

Demorrio Williams, UFA, Atlanta Falcons

Williams is slightly undersized, but he has a knack for finding the ball and making the play. He has just 74 total tackles this season, and also has a pair of interceptions. He has been decent against the passing game and his talent is also somewhat appealing because hes still maturing at the position, being just 27 years old. Atlanta will try to retain his services, but Williams might command a decent contract on the market.

Predicted 2008 Team: Broncos His will earn him playing time, but probably not a starting role.

Boss Bailey, UFA, Detroit Lions

Bailey has strong coverage skills and works hard to make plays. Hes physically gifted, but he has battled injury during his young career and hasnt had a chance to show consistent play. Due to lost games, hes also been unable to work on developing a knack for tracking down the ball. Bailey needs to be more physical, but also find a way to stay healthy. He was able to stay relatively healthy this season but failed to impress.

Predicted 2008 Team: Lions Bailey may have to settle for a reduced role, and the market wont be big on him.

Other Free Agent Linebackers
Jordan Beck RFA Atlanta Falcons
Kevin Bentley UFA Seattle Seahawks
Darryl Blackstock RFA Arizona Cardinals
Brandon Chillar UFA St. Louis Rams
Na'il Diggs UFA Carolina Panthers
Landon Johnson UFA Cincinnati Bengals
Teddy Lehman UFA Detroit Lions
Lemar Marshall UFA Washington Redskins
Sam Williams UFA Oakland Raiders

Continue with top free agent DB

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