Here is a list of select Linebackers who currently have the opportunity to be unrestricted free agents at that time. These players can re-sign with their current teams at any time and can begin to negotiate with other teams beginning on March 9th.
Dannell Ellerbe/ILB/Ravens (6’1, 240): With Ray Lewis nursing a triceps injury, Ellerbe saw his playing time increased in 2012. The four-year veteran set career highs in tackles (92), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (one), helping the Ravens defense adjust before the team’s magical postseason run. In the AFC Championship, the former Georgia Bulldog — who went undrafted in 2009 — came away with a fourth-quarter interception to help seal the Ravens victory.
Moise Fokou/ILB/Colts 6’1, 236): After heading to Indianapolis in a trade before last season, Fokou could be on the move again. The 2009 seventh-round pick (Eagles), who played primarily in the Nickel in 2012, has racked up 155 tackles and two sacks in his four-year career. Though he played in the middle in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 scheme, he could kick outside in a 4-3 base.
Erin Henderson/ILB/Vikings (6’3, 244): Undrafed out of Maryland in 2008, Henderson has steadily increased his playing time the past five seasons, eventually earning a starting spot in 2011. In 2012, taking over for his brother, E.J., who was not re-signed, Henderson finished with 80 total tackles, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
Leroy Hill/OLB/Seahawks (6’1, 238): Hill, who has spent his entire eight-year career in Seattle, is an unrestricted free agent after playing out a one-year contract last season. A third-round pick in 2005, Hill has started 89 of 97 games in his career was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2005. Even though he has been productive — 20 career sacks and eight career forced fumbles — Hill may be hurt by his off-field trouble; he was arrested on assault charges last month.
Anthony Spencer/OLB/Cowboys (6’3, 250): Spencer, still a candidate to return to Dallas, is again slated to hit the open market on the heels of a huge season — he was hit with the franchise tag before last season. The linebacker was selected to the Pro Bowler for the first time in 2012, finishing the season with 95 tackles, a career-high 11 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Philip Wheeler/OLB/Raiders (6’2, 240): After arriving in Oakland last offseason, the Georgia Tech product, who spent his first four years in Indianapolis, thrived in an expanded role, setting career highs in nearly essential statistical category (109 tackles, 3.0 sacks and six passes defended).
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