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Free Agent Preview: Linebacker

From now through the beginning of the free agent signing period, will take a position-by-position look at the top players scheduled to hit the market on March 5, and a few who might be potential Patriots. Today's preview: linebacker.

Biggest Names

Gary Brackett, Barrett Ruud (RFA), DeMeco Ryans (RFA), Keith Bullock, Elvis Dumervil (RFA), Karlos Dansby, Aaron Kampman, Shawne Merriman (RFA)

Some interesting names on this list to ponder, including a couple of UFAs. Dansby is a dynamic athlete but hasn't played in a scheme like New England's as a pro. Bullock would fall into a similar category. Kampman is an interesting guy in that he played as a rush linebacker in Dom Capers' 3-4 last year in Green Bay, but says he's open to playing in either system.

Possible Patriots

Tully Banta-Cain, Pierre Woods (RFA), Merriman, Kampman

Banta-Cain seems ticketed for a return after his 10-sack season. Reports had him already re-signed late in the season, but those proved to be premature. It does look like he'll be back, and Woods need only be tendered. Merriman might be had based on reports out of San Diego that indicate the Chargers aren't all that interested in retaining him. A lower-than-expected tender could make him available. Kampman played for Belichick protégé Kirk Ferentz at Iowa and enjoyed a solid season as an OLB. He could be a cheaper alternative to Peppers.

The Full List

Name 2009 Team Position Status

Alston, Jon OAK OLB RFA 4
Anderson, James CAR OLB RFA 4
Banta-Cain, Tully NE OLB UFA
Barnes, Antwan BLT OLB RFA 3
Berry, Bert ARZ OLB UFA
Brooks, Ahmad SF OLB RFA 4
Brown, Ricky OAK OLB RFA 4
Bulluck, Keith TEN OLB UFA
Burgess, Derrick NE OLB UFA
Campbell, Khary HST OLB UFA
Ciurciu, Vinny DET OLB UFA
Clark, Danny NYG OLB UFA
Crowell, Angelo TB OLB UFA
Dansby, Karlos ARZ OLB UFA
Davis, Thomas CAR OLB RFA 5
Draft, Chris BUF OLB UFA
Dumervil, Elvis DEN OLB RFA 4
Ellison, Keith BUF OLB RFA 4
Fujita, Scott NO OLB UFA
Gocong, Chris PHI OLB RFA 4
Hagler, Tyjuan IND OLB RFA 5
Harris, Marques SD OLB RFA 5
Howard, Thomas OAK OLB RFA 4
Ingram, Clint JAX OLB RFA 4
Jeanty, Rashad CIN OLB RFA 4
Johnson, Brandon CIN OLB RFA 4
Jordan, Akeem PHI OLB RFA 3
Kampman, Aaron GB OLB UFA
Laury, Lance SEA OLB RFA 4
Lenon, Paris SL OLB UFA
McClover, Darrell CHI OLB UFA
McCoy, Matt TB OLB RFA 5
McIntosh, Rocky WAS OLB RFA 4
Merriman, Shawne SD OLB RFA 5
Moses, Quentin MIA OLB RFA 3
Murrell, Marques NYJ OLB RFA 3
Okeafor, Chike ARZ OLB UFA
Roach, Nick CHI OLB RFA 3
Roth, Matt CLV OLB RFA 5
Scott, Bryan BUF OLB UFA
Spencer, Cody DET OLB RFA 5
Stamer, Josh BUF OLB UFA
Taylor, Jason MIA OLB UFA
Thompson, Chaun HST OLB UFA
Tinoisamoa, Pisa CHI OLB UFA
Vrabel, Mike KC OLB UFA
White, Tracy PHI OLB UFA
Wilkinson, Gerris NYG OLB RFA 4
Williams, Sam OAK OLB UFA
Woods, Pierre NE OLB RFA 4

Beisel, Monty ARZ ILB UFA
Boiman, Rocky PIT ILB UFA
Brackett, Gary IND ILB UFA
Burgess, Prescott BLT ILB RFA 3
Dobbins, Tim SD ILB RFA 4
Foote, Larry DET ILB UFA
Fowler, Ryan NYJ ILB UFA
Gaither, Omar PHI ILB RFA 4
Gilbert, Tony ATL ILB UFA
Greisen, Nick DEN ILB UFA
Hodge, Abdul CIN ILB RFA 4
Izzo, Larry NYJ ILB UFA
Jackson, D'Qwell CLV ILB RFA 4
Johnson, Derrick KC ILB RFA 5
Keiaho, Freddy IND ILB RFA 4
Mays, Corey KC ILB RFA 4
Mitchell, Marvin NO ILB RFA 3
Morrison, Kirk OAK ILB RFA 5
Ruud, Barrett TB ILB RFA 5
Ryans, DeMeco HST ILB RFA 4
Seau, Junior NE ILB UFA
Thomas, Dontarrious SD ILB UFA
Togafau, Pago ARZ ILB RFA 3
Trotter, Jeremiah PHI ILB UFA
Trusnik, Jason CLV ILB RFA 3
Tulloch, Stephen TEN ILB RFA 4
Ulbrich, Jeff SF ILB UFA
Wilhelm, Matt SF ILB UFA
Williams, Jamar CHI ILB RFA 4
Wilson, Rod TB ILB RFA 5

Up next in the Free Agent Preview series: wide receiver, coming Thursday, Feb. 18.

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