Top available linebackers for Redskins to target in free agency

The Fan News Desk
February 24, 2020 - 1:38 pm

The Redskins have holes all over their defense they'll need to address this offseason, linebacker included.

Former fifth-round pick Cole Holcomb was a huge contributor in his rookie season for the Redskins, who hope to see Reuben Foster make a full recovery from a torn ACL suffered in OTAs in 2019.

Ryan Anderson – a second-rounder in 2017 – still has yet to show he was worthy of his draft position after three seasons in Washington. The Redskins would be wise to start looking for his replacement now, should he continue that trend in the final season of his rookie deal.

The Redskins also still face the looming question of whether to retain longtime veteran Ryan Kerrigan, a mainstay in their linebacking corps for the past nine seasons whose release would save the team $11.6 million.

For all of these reasons, linebacker should be a major priority for the Redskins in 2020. These are the options available to them in free agency.

2020 Unrestricted Free Agent Linebackers: 

**All figures according to**

**Ages listed below reflect how old each player will be at the start of the 2020 season**

Dante Fowler Jr., 26, Rams

2019 AAV: $12 million

The third overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft set career marks across the board in 2019 and will be in line for a major payday. Fowler set career highs in sacks (11.5), combined tackles (58), tackles for loss (16), passes defended (6), and quarterback hits (16). If the Rams don't break the bank for Fowler, another team surely will.

Nigel Bradham, 31, Eagles

2019 AAV: $8 million

The Eagles released Bradham last week after four seasons with the club. Bradham was two years into a 5-year $40 million extension when he was released to avoid the Eagles being on the hook for his base salary that would have been $8 million. Bradham missed four games last season and recorded 61 tackles and an interception. 

Shaquil Barrett, 27, Buccaneers

2019 AAV: $4 million

Calculated Market Value For Next Contract: 4 years $63 million | AAV: $15.7 million

Barrett was a major bright spot for Todd Bowles' defense in 2019 after having a breakout year in his first season in Tampa. Barrett was an afterthought after five seasons in Denver but was able to make an instant impact for the Buccaneers, recording 19.5 sacks and being named to his first Pro Bowl. The Bucs will do everything in their power to keep him from hitting the open market.

Matt Judon, 28, Ravens

2019 AAV: $648K

Calculated Market Value For Next Contract: 4 years $65.2 million | AAV: $16.3 million

Matt Judon enjoyed a career year for the Ravens in 2019, starting in all 16 regular-season games for the first time in his four-year career. Judon recorded 9.5 sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl. If the Ravens let Judon out of the door, he will have a multitude of suitors trying to sway him.

Cory Littleton, 26, Rams

2019 AAV: $3.095 million

The Rams will look to retain the services of Littleton, the team's leading tackler from last season (134 total tackles, 9th in the NFL). Littleton, who signed with the Rams in 2016 after going undrafted, has been Mr. Reliable in his four seasons with the Rams and hasn't missed a single game. 

Kyle Van Noy, 29, Patriots

2019 AAV: $5.87 million

Van Noy has been a glue-guy for Bill Belichick since arriving in New England three-and-a-half seasons ago. The Patriots' veteran recorded three forced fumbles in 2019. The Patriots' future is in flux until the situation at quarterback is resolved, and depending on how long Tom Brady takes to decide where he will be playing next year, the team's other free agents may not want to wait around and miss out on other opportunities.

Bud Dupree, 27, Steelers

2019 AAV: $2.3 million

Calculated Market Value For Next Contract: 5 years $83 million| AAV: $16.6 million

Dupree is in-line for a massive deal after the major improvements he showed last season. Dupree set career marks in games started (16), forced fumbles (4), fumble recoveries (2), sacks (11.5), combined tackles (68), and tackles for loss (16). 

Blake Martinez, 26, Packers

2019 AAV: $680K

Calculated Market Value For Next Contract:  5 years $81.7 million| AAV: $16.3 million

The Packers' star linebacker has been a machine over the past three seasons. Martinez led the NFC in total tackles in both the 2017 and 2018 NFL seasons and was five tackles short of leading the conference for a third-straight year in 2019 (155) had it not been for Seahawks star Bobby Wagner (159).

2020 Redskins Salary Cap: $62 million

Cap Savings if the following players are released:

Ryan Kerrigan: $11.7 million added to cap.

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