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5 linebackers for Eagles to target in free agency this year


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5 linebackers for Eagles to target in free agency this year


When NFL free agency begins on March 16, the Eagles will be looking to bolster a roster that made it to the playoffs in Year 1 under Nick Sirianni.

We’ll look position-by-position for some possible targets. We started with running backsreceiversquarterbacks, offensive linemen and tight endsdefensive tackles and defensive ends. We'll keep it going today with linebackers.

The Eagles will bring back T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor for the 2022 season. Alex Singleton is a restricted free agent and Genard Avery is an unrestricted free agent. The Eagles haven’t put major resources into the position so it’s hard to imagine them starting all of a sudden. So a guy like Foyesade Oluokun from Atlanta might be out of their price range. But there are still plenty of other free agent options to choose from.

Here are five free agent linebackers who might make some sense for the Eagles:

Anthony Barr: The former Pro Bowler will be 30 when this coming season starts and he’s had trouble staying healthy the last two years; he played 2 games in 2020 and 11 in 2021. So because of all that, his price shouldn’t be too high. And if Jonathan Gannon wants to improve that SAM linebacker position with a guy who will already understand his defense, then Barr would fit. The durability issue is an obvious concern but if Barr can stay healthy, he’d be able to make a difference. Last offseason, the Eagles signed Anthony Harris and Eric Wilson from the Vikings, Gannon’s former team from years ago, so the idea of bringing in Barr certainly isn’t far-fetched.

De’Vondre Campbell: The veteran linebacker is a free agent again and might finally be able to get a decent contract. He played in Green Bay last season on a one-year, $2.5 million contract and then had an All-Pro season with 146 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2 sacks, 2 INTs and 6 QB hits. He’s also still just 28 so he should hav a few more top-notch years before we see a decline.

Kyzir White: He’s not the biggest linebacker in the league (listed at 6-2, 216) but the converted safety is a prototypical modern NFL linebacker who excels in coverage. White had his best season in 2021 under new head coach Brandon Staley, who has a close relationship with Gannon.

Leighton Vander Esch: Back in 2018, Vander Esch took the NFL by storm with 140 tackles as a rookie and a Pro Bowl nod. But he struggled to stay on the field the next two seasons, playing a total of 19 games in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, he was technically a starter for the Cowboys but wasn’t the same player and played just 58% of the Cowboys’ snaps. Maybe he’ll never return to the version of the guy that was phenomenal in 2018 but if he still has some of that talent and can play a little more consistently, he’d be worth bringing in.

Anthony Walker: Last season, Walker played on a one-year, $3 million deal in Cleveland and had a good year. Walker missed a few weeks but in 13 games, had 113 tackles. He began his career in Indianapolis with the Colts, where Gannon was the defensive backs coach and Sirianni was the offensive coordinator. It didn’t happen last offseason, but maybe they bring him in this time around. He’s not an All-Pro but he’s a solid starter who could help the Eagles. At 6-1, 235, he’s another modern-era linebacker who can fly around the field.


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