Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Philip Wheeler (52) lines up during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Free Agents: Outside Linebacker Rankings and Predictions

1. Paul Kruger (DE/OLB), Baltimore Ravens (27)

The Ravens will not be able to afford bringing back Kruger, who would like to come back, but thanks to Joe Flacco’s performance in the playoffs, Baltimore won’t be able to afford hardly anybody. He had nine sacks in the regular season, and he dominated the playoffs.

Prediction: Signs with Browns

Actual: Signs with Cleveland Browns

2. Philip Wheeler, Oakland Raiders (28)

Wheeler had a phenomenal season for the Raiders last year on a one year deal, basically an afterthought in free agency. He has earned one big pay day and I think he will be a key piece for the Raiders moving forward.

Prediction: Signs with Raiders

Actual: Signs with Miami Dolphins

3. Connor Barwin (DE/OLB), Houston Texans (26)

The Texans have made it known that they want Barwin back next season. They can’t lose arguably their top pass rusher from the OLB position two straight offseasons. I think the tag is a real option for Barwin.

Prediction: Re-signed by Texans

Actual:

4. Daryl Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars (31)

Daryl Smith is a really good player, but he’s got to be getting restless waiting for the Jaguars to put a solid team around him. I think Smith has to be ready to go after a championship at this point in his career. Then again, he may feel like he wants to see things through with Jacksonville.

Prediction: Signs with Bengals

Actual:

5. James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers (35)

Harrison was a cap casualty for the Steelers but he is still a solid player who wants to help a contender.

 

6. Shaun Philips (DE/OLB), San Diego Chargers (32)

It’s going to be tough to see Philips anywhere but San Diego. He is an aging pass rusher and San Diego desperately needs his services.

Prediction: Re-signs with Chargers

Actual:

7. Thomas Howard, Cincinnati Bengals (30)

8. Nick Barnett, Buffalo Bills (32)

9. Manny Lawson, Cincinnati Bengals (29) — Signed with Buffalo Bills

10. D.J. Williams, Denver Broncos (31)

11. Erin Henderson, Minnesota Vikings (27) — Re-signed with Minnesota Vikings

12. Justin Durant, Detroit Lions (27)

13. Victor Butler (DE/OLB), Dallas Cowboys (26)

14. Nick Roach, Chicago Bears (28)

15. LeRoy Hill, Seattle Seahawks (30)

16. DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions (26) — Re-signed with Detroit Lions

17. Keith Rivers, New York Giants (27)

18. Rob Jackson (DE/OLB), Washington Redskins (27)

19. Kaluka Maiava, Cleveland Browns (26) — Signed with Oakland Raiders

20. Calvin Pace (DE/OLB), New York Jets (32)

21. Bryan Thomas (DE/OLB), New York Jets (34)

22. Jonathan Casillas, New Orleans Saints (26) — Signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tags: 2013 Nfl Free Agents Outside Linebackers

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