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  Bears | Sam Acho added    Wed Apr 1, 02:16 PM

Free-agent LB Sam Acho (Cardinals) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Wednesday, April 1. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: The Bears continue their defensive overhaul here. We'll see how Acho fits in the team's 3-4 defense. With only two sacks over the last two years combined, it's difficult to project him doing much as a pass-rusher. Acho has turned into a better run-defender in recent years.

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Sam Acho player page


  Colts | Robert Mathis update    Wed Apr 1, 01:25 PM

Updating a previous item, Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis (Achilles') has not started running in his rehab yet, but he's hoping to be ready for training camp this summer.

Footballguys view: The Colts are likely to put Mathis on PUP to begin training camp. Owner Jim Irsay said the worst-case scenario for Mathis would be to 're-emerge' in November of this year. That means that PUP at the start of the regular season is an option too. PUP at the beginning of the year would mean Mathis would be forced to miss the first six weeks of the season. After that time, the Colts would have three weeks to determine whether or not to activate Mathis or put him on season-ending Injured Reserve.

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Robert Mathis player page


  Colts | Robert Mathis hopeful for preseason    Tue Mar 31, 11:20 PM

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis (Achilles') said Tuesday, March 31, that he is hopeful of playing during the preseason. However, he said that his rehab for a torn Achilles' is going slow.

Footballguys view: Achilles' injuries aren't quite as severe as they used to be, but it's still a serious injury that will need to be monitored closely. The Colts defense will certainly be better with a healthy Mathis on the field.

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Robert Mathis player page


  Panthers | Sign Jason Trusnik    Tue Mar 31, 04:08 PM

Free-agent LB Jason Trusnik (Dolphins) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday, March 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: Trusnik started six games last year for the Dolphins where he played 397 snaps over the 16-game season. He can play inside or outside linebacker, and Trusnik is a two-down run-stuffer who can also contribute on special teams.

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Jason Trusnik player page


  Cowboys | Interested in Lance Briggs    Mon Mar 30, 05:39 PM

Free-agent LB Lance Briggs (Bears) has drawn interest from the Dallas Cowboys.

Footballguys view: The Cowboys have interest in Briggs because they might lose Rolondo McClain in free agency. Briggs missed half of 2014 as he dealt with a groin injury. If healthy, Briggs feels like he can still play at a high level.

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Lance Briggs player page


  Buccaneers | Interested in Lance Briggs    Mon Mar 30, 05:37 PM

Free-agent LB Lance Briggs (Bears) has drawn interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Footballguys view: Briggs played for Bucs head coach Lovie Smith during his time with the Bears. He needs to stay healthy after missing half the 2014 season due to a groin injury. If added, Briggs would give the team veteran leadership.

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Lance Briggs player page


  NFL | Lance Briggs confident he can still play    Mon Mar 30, 05:37 PM

Free-agent LB Lance Briggs (Bears) still thinks he can 'perform at an elite level.' He'll turn 35 years old this November. Briggs has drawn interest this offseason from the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.

Footballguys view: The veteran linebacker has to stay healthy in order to prove that he can still be an impact player at the pro level. Briggs played in only eight games in 2014 before going on Injured Reserve with a groin injury.

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Lance Briggs player page


  Jets | Erin Henderson to visit    Sun Mar 29, 06:53 PM

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) is scheduled to visit the New York Jets.

Footballguys view: Henderson has two drunk driving arrests, and that could be giving teams pause when considering him as an offseason addition. If signed, Henderson would give the Jets veteran depth at the linebacker position.

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Erin Henderson player page


  Texans | Jadeveon Clowney continues to recover    Thu Mar 26, 01:14 AM

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) continues to recover from microfracture surgery on his knee. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Wednesday, March 25, that there is no timetable for Clowney's return, but the team hopes to get him on the field 'sometime during (training camp).'

Footballguys view: After a disappointing first season because of his injury, Clowney and the Texans hope he starts to show some of the upside he had in college. The team continues to improve the defense, so he has plenty of players around him to pull attention away from him.

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Jadeveon Clowney player page


  Bears | Shea McClellin to work inside    Thu Mar 26, 12:39 AM

Chicago Bears LB Shea McClellin will start inside at linebacker, head coach John Fox said Wednesday, March 25. Fox added that McClellin will also be worked outside as well.

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Shea McClellin player page


  Jets | Interested in Jason Trusnik    Wed Mar 25, 02:12 PM

Free-agent LB Jason Trusnik (Dolphins) is attracting interest from the New York Jets.

Footballguys view: Trusnik is a two-down run-stuffer. Don't ask him to cover or rush the passer and he's fine.

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Jason Trusnik player page


  Buccaneers | Brandon Magee waived    Wed Mar 25, 10:27 AM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee was waived Wednesday, March 25.

Footballguys view: An undrafted free agent in 2013, Magee joined the Bucs last July and mostly played special teams.

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Brandon Magee player page


  Broncos | Brandon Marshall slowly healing    Tue Mar 24, 09:23 PM

Denver Broncos LB Brandon M. Marshall (foot) is still recovering from a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot, and he might not be available until the start of training camp. LBs Lamin Barrow, Todd Davis, Steven Johnson, Corey Nelson and Reggie Walker will see plenty of time during the offseason program with Marshall on the shelf.

Footballguys view: Marshall was a standout player for the Broncos last year, but he did get a little banged up. This year, in the new 3-4 defense, Marshall will be counted on to lead the team in tackles from the ILB (SAM) position.

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Reggie Walker player page
Brandon Marshall player page


  Broncos | Danny Trevathan still recovering    Tue Mar 24, 09:21 PM

Denver Broncos LB Danny Trevathan (knee) continues to recover from two fractures in his left knee. He might not be available until training camp. LBs Lamin Barrow, Todd Davis, Steven Johnson, Corey Nelson and Reggie Walker will see plenty of time during the offseason program with Trevathan on the mend.

Footballguys view: The multiple knee injuries are a concern for Trevathan. He'll play ILB (BOW) this year for the Broncos, and Trevathan will be facing a lot of traffic in the team's new 3-4 defense. He'll need to stay healthy this year.

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Reggie Walker player page
Danny Trevathan player page


  49ers | Erin Henderson to visit    Mon Mar 23, 03:52 PM

Updating a previous report, free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) is scheduled to meet with the San Francisco 49ers, according to a source.

Link to story
Erin Henderson player page


  49ers | Talking with Lance Briggs     Mon Mar 23, 03:36 PM

Free-agent LB Lance Briggs (Bears) has had contract discussions with the San Francisco 49ers, according to a source. Briggs is believed to have interest in joining the 49ers.

Link to story
Lance Briggs player page


  Jets | Spencer Paysinger visiting    Mon Mar 23, 01:24 PM

Free-agent LB Spencer Paysinger (Giants), who is not expected to re-sign with the New York Giants, is visiting with the New York Jets Monday, March 23, according to an NFL source.

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Spencer Paysinger player page


  49ers | San Fran interested in Erin Henderson    Mon Mar 23, 11:09 AM

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) is drawing interest from the San Francisco 49ers, according to reports.

Footballguys view: The 49ers need all the linebacker help they can get after the retirement of both Patrick Willis and Chris Borland.

Link to story
Erin Henderson player page


  Steelers | James Harrison re-signs    Sun Mar 22, 12:36 PM

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: Harrison had to decide between the Titans and the Steelers. He's not what he used to be, but Harrison proved last year that he still had something left in the tank.

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James Harrison player page


  NFL | James Harrison considering two teams    Sat Mar 21, 10:46 PM

Free-agent LB James Harrison said Saturday, March 21, that he will decide between re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers or joining the Tennessee Titans.

Footballguys view: No surprise here. The Titans hired former Steelers DC Dick LeBeau as their assistant head coach earlier this year. Harrison could follow LeBeau to the Titans.

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James Harrison player page


  Colts | Erik Walden injured in reported attack    Fri Mar 20, 11:44 AM

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (arm) was slashed across his arm during an alleged altercation with his ex-girlfriend, Erica Palmer. Palmer reportedly believed Walden was seeing someone else and staked out his home. Walden, with whom Palmer has two children, reportedly arrived with another woman, when Braselton, Ga., police said Palmer entered the residence carrying a firearm and baseball bat.

Footballguys view: Um, okay then. We're glad nobody was seriously hurt here.

Link to story
Erik Walden player page


  49ers | Chase Thomas has torn ACL    Thu Mar 19, 09:21 PM

San Francisco 49ers LB Chase Thomas (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right while working during the offseason.

Footballguys view: Thomas is a special teams player who is now likely to miss the entire season because of this injury. It's yet another blow to the group of linebackers in San Francisco after the retirement of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland.

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Chase Thomas player page


  Colts | Daniel Adongo signs tender    Thu Mar 19, 05:13 PM

Indianapolis Colts exclusive-rights free-agent LB Daniel Adongo signed his tender offer Thursday, March 19. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: The Colts will hold onto the former rugby player now, though he is still a large work in progress. His impact this season will be limited, at best.

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Daniel Adongo player page


  Steelers | Open to re-signing James Harrison    Thu Mar 19, 03:51 PM

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) is still an option for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the team likely will not try to re-sign him until the summer because they do not need him to participate in offseason workouts.

Footballguys view: The Steelers could use the experience but it's likely Harrison would be in a reduced role due to age. Still the 36-year old linebacker could well contribute quite a bit for one last year. Watch out for the Titans here as well. We could see Harrison following Dick LeBeau to Tennessee.

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James Harrison player page


  Eagles | Connor Barwin restructured    Wed Mar 18, 07:21 PM

Philadelphia Eagles LB Connor Barwin reworked his 2015 deal Wednesday, March 18. His 2015 salary ($6.4 million) is now guaranteed, and he'll make $3 million in 2016.

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Connor Barwin player page


  Falcons | Kroy Biermann re-signed    Wed Mar 18, 04:39 PM

Free-agent DE Kroy Biermann re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons Wednesday, March 18. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: Biermann has spent his entire pro career with the Falcons. Last year while coming back from an Achilles' injury, he led the team with 4.5 sacks. The Falcons are re-working their defense, but they decided that Biermann was best kept around.

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Kroy Biermann player page


  Eagles | Bryan Braman restructures    Wed Mar 18, 02:35 AM

Philadelphia Eagles LB Bryan Braman has restructured his contract. Braman reduced his base salary from $1.2 million to $745,000. In exchange, the team extended his contract for an additional year and will pay him $900,000 in 2016.

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Bryan Braman player page


  Browns | Barkevious Mingo expects to be ready for camp    Sat Mar 14, 12:46 PM

Cleveland Browns LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) said he believes he will be ready for the start of training camp after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason.

Footballguys view: Getting a pass-rusher like Mingo back will certainly help the Browns defense. Mingo said the shoulder's range of motion is good, but he has not been able to weight lift at this point.

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Barkevious Mingo player page


  Titans | Tennessee fortifies defense with two    Fri Mar 13, 08:35 AM

Free-agent LB Brian Orakpo (Redskins) and DE Derrick Morgan (Titans) were signed by the Tennessee Titans to undisclosed deals Friday, March 13.

Footballguys view: Two strong additions to the defense here. Orakpo needed a fresh start after an injury-riddled career in Washington. He had torn pectoral muscles for two of the past three seasons, but when healthy Orakpo can get about 10 sacks per year. Morgan began his career as a DE in the Titans 4-3 defense, but last year he looked good at outside linebacker as the team switched to a 3-4.

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Brian Orakpo player page
Derrick Morgan player page


  Rams | Akeem Ayers joins St. Louis    Thu Mar 12, 09:48 PM

Free-agent LB Akeem Ayers (Patriots) has signed a two-year contract with the St. Louis Rams worth $6 million with $3 million guaranteed, according to a league source.

Footballguys view: Originally a second-round pick for the Titans in 2011, Ayers did a good job as a part-time player for the Patriots last year. There are a few coaches on the staff that have familiarity with Ayers from his time with the Titans, and they'll know how to get the best out of him.

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Akeem Ayers player page


  Falcons | O'Brien Schofield signs    Thu Mar 12, 06:04 PM

Free-agent LB O'Brien Schofield (Seahawks) signed an undisclosed deal with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, March 12.

Footballguys view: O'Brien Schofield knows coach Dan Quinn from their days in Seattle, and his versatility will help a defensive front desperately trying to rebuild itself after a disastrous 2014.

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OBrien Schofield player page


  Patriots | Sign Jonathan Freeny    Thu Mar 12, 05:28 PM

Free-agent LB Jonathan Freeny (Dolphins) signed an undisclosed deal with the New England Patriots Thursday, March 12.

Footballguys view: Jonathan Freeny was a restricted free agent who didn't get tendered which means the Patriots don't have to pay a penalty for him. He has played in 42 games but has never started and he has just 42 tackles in his career.

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Jonathan Freeny player page


  Raiders | Malcolm Smith contract details    Thu Mar 12, 12:25 PM

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders LB Malcolm Smith signed a two-year contract worth $7 million.

Footballguys view: Smith knows Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr from when Norton was with the Seahawks, so the move makes sense. Mostly a depth addition, Smith has mostly been a weakside linebacker, but might play a little at middle as well.

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Malcolm Smith player page


  Buccaneers | Derrick Morgan to visit    Wed Mar 11, 07:40 PM

Updating a previous item, free-agent LB Derrick Morgan (Titans) will visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to sources.

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Derrick Morgan player page


  Patriots | Jabaal Sheard signs    Wed Mar 11, 06:50 PM

Free-agent LB Jabaal Sheard (Browns) has agreed to a two-year deal worth $11 million, with a $4 million bonus.

Footballguys view: The Patriots will look to replace Darrelle Revis's lost impact not just through bolstering the secondary. Sheard can help provide more pass rush and he's versatile enough to put his hand on the ground and stand up if necessary.

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Jabaal Sheard player page


  NFL | Jason Worilds calls it quits    Wed Mar 11, 01:08 AM

Free-agent LB Jason Worilds (Steelers) announced Tuesday, March 11, in a statement through his player representative that he intends to walk away from football. "I appreciate all of the interest from the organizations that have reached out to us the past few days," the statement reads. "With that being said, after much thought (and) consideration I have chosen to step away from football as I have opted to pursue other interests."

Footballguys view: Worilds joins Patrick Willis and Jake Locker as early retirees on one of the craziest news days in NFL history. He was due to get double-digit millions from the Titans, or possibly the Steelers. The edge rusher market is still one of the more stocked free agent positions, but it just got a little lighter.

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Jason Worilds player page


  Buccaneers | Derrick Morgan might visit    Tue Mar 10, 09:55 PM

Free-agent LB Derrick Morgan (Titans) might visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week if he leaves his visit with the Atlanta Falcons without a deal, according to sources.

Footballguys view: Morgan has played well as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he may be better suited to play defensive end in a 4-3. That's the position he starred in during his college days at Georgia Tech.

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Derrick Morgan player page


  Cardinals | Scheduled to meet with Brian Orakpo    Tue Mar 10, 08:13 PM

Free-agent LB Brian Orakpo (Redskins) is scheduled to meet with the Arizona Cardinals after he is finished with his meeting with the Tennessee Titans, according to a source.

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Brian Orakpo player page


  Titans | Brian Orakpo to visit    Tue Mar 10, 07:50 PM

Free-agent LB Brian Orakpo (Redskins) will visit with the Tennessee Titans, according to sources.

Link to story
Brian Orakpo player page


  Falcons | Justin Durant signs    Tue Mar 10, 07:39 PM

Free-agent LB Justin Durant (Cowboys) signed with the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, March 10. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

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Justin Durant player page


  Dolphins | Phillip Wheeler released    Tue Mar 10, 06:24 PM

Miami Dolphins LB Philip Wheeler was cut Tuesday, March 10.

Footballguys view: Wheeler, who was scheduled to make $3 million in 2015, will be designated a June 1 roster cut.

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Philip Wheeler player page


  Falcons | Derrick Morgan to visit    Tue Mar 10, 05:30 PM

Free-agent DE Derrick Morgan (Titans) will make a visit to the Atlanta Falcons.

Link to story
Derrick Morgan player page


  Giants | Jonathan Casillas signs    Tue Mar 10, 04:44 PM

Free-agent LB Jonathan Casillas (Patriots) has signed a three-year deal worth $10.5 million with the New York Giants, according to a source.

Footballguys view: Casillas is going to help mostly on special teams.

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Jonathan Casillas player page


  Lions | Josh Bynes re-signs    Tue Mar 10, 04:43 PM

Detroit Lions LB Josh Bynes re-signed with the team Tuesday, March 10. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

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Josh Bynes player page


  Falcons | Brooks Reed signs    Tue Mar 10, 04:17 PM

Free-agent LB Brooks Reed (Texans) is signing a five-year, $22 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, March 10.

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Brooks Reed player page


  Raiders | Malcolm Smith joins    Tue Mar 10, 04:12 PM

Free-agent LB Malcolm Smith (Seahawks) reached an agreement with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, March 10, according to sources.

Link to story
Malcolm Smith player page


  Colts | Cam Johnson signs tender    Tue Mar 10, 02:57 PM

Indianapolis Colts LB Cam Johnson signed his tender as an exclusive rights free agent Tuesday, March 10.

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Cam Johnson player page


  Titans | Interested in Brian Orakpo    Tue Mar 10, 01:13 PM

Washington Redskins impending free-agent LB Brian Orakpo is drawing interest from the Tennessee Titans.

Footballguys view: Orakpo is a talented pass-rusher who has been drawing a lot of interest on the open market. Lack of durability is a major concern for Orakpo, and that should be factored into the next contract he gets.

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Brian Orakpo player page


  Colts | Trent Cole joining Colts    Tue Mar 10, 12:19 PM

Free-agent LB Trent Cole (Eagles) is signing with the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, March 10. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Footballguys view: Cole can be a standup pass-rusher in a 3-4, or he can play with his hand in the ground on the edge of a 4-3. That versatility has made his stock hotter on the open market. Cole is the second Eagles player added by Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson this offseason. He also brought in former Eagles guard Todd Herremans.

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Trent Cole player page


  Falcons | Showing interest in Brooks Reed    Tue Mar 10, 10:34 AM

Impending free-agent LB Brooks Reed (Texans) is receiving interest from the Atlanta Falcons and two other teams, according to his agent.

Footballguys view: The Falcons are overhauling their defense this offseason. They needed to in a bad way, and adding a player like Reed would really help. He has a nose for the ball and is always around the play. Reed had six sacks as a rookie, but he's maxed out at three in a season (2014) since then.

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Brooks Reed player page