Ranking the Eagles top free-agent linebacker options

Lavonte David #54, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Lavonte David #54, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

The Eagles will definitely take a look at the linebacker market this offseason.

In 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles fielded one of the best defenses in the history of the franchise. Now, with the offseason underway, many of their important pieces will hit free agency. It’s time to start over.

Many of their best players and starters on the defensive side of the ball are at the end of their deals, linebacker T.J. Edwards concluded. He has improved every year since he joined the team in 2019.

During the past two seasons, he’s collected 289 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and one interception. Kyzir White could be lost as well. He added 110 total tackles and 1.5 sacks to the cause during 17 regular-season games this season.

Edwards and White finished first and second respectively in total tackles, combining for 269 during the regular season. They’ll be hard to replace if they move on to another team for the 2023 season. Here’s a look at the five best players at the position if Philly explores free agency to replace them.

Here are the top five options the Eagles have in free agency if they address the linebacker position there.

1. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

He might be 33 years old, but Lavonte David is still one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

The three-time All-Pro posted one of his best seasons of the last four years, as he collected 124 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in the 17 regular-season games he appeared in.

Maybe the Eagles could sign him to a one-year deal if they feel like splurging because the veteran linebacker definitely still has a lot of gas left in the tank.

2. David Long, Tennessee Titans

During his four seasons in the league, David Long has continued to get better every year, transforming himself into one of the Titans’ best linebackers. He recorded 86 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games during the most recent regular season.

One red flag on Long’s resume is that he has not played a full season in two years, but his steady improvement could have teams pass that over.

3.  Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals

The Eagles aren’t the only team that could potentially lose starters from their defense, as Cincinnati is poised to lose two safeties and a big-time linebacker.

In the last two seasons, Germaine Pratt has produced mightily with the Bengals by posting 190 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and three interceptions.

4. Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Buffalo Bills

During each of his five seasons in the NFL, Tremaine Edmunds always has eclipsed 100 tackles. He recorded 102 tackles, one sack, and one interception during the 2022 season. He’s still young. He’ll be 25 years old once the 2023 season comes around, so he still has his best years ahead of him.

5. Drue Tranquill, Los Angeles Chargers

After only starting in 11 games in his first three seasons, Drue Tranquill proved he was good enough to be a full-time linebacker in 2022 with the Chargers. In total, he started 16 of their 17 games.

He posted a career-high 146 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception in those 17 games. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie Team in 2019.

Honorable mention: Leighton Vander Esch ( Dallas Cowboys), Alex Singleton  ( Denver Broncos), Bobby Okereke, Indianapolis Colts),  Alex Anzalone ( Detroit Lions)

Leighton Vander Esch has a problem staying healthy, as he only played two full seasons in his career. He did have one of his best seasons this year since his debut in 2019 with the Cowboys.

Former Eagles linebacker Alex Singleton had a career-high 163 total tackles in 17 games this season.

Bobby Okereke recorded 283 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions during the past two seasons. Alex Anzalone is so much more than a pretty face with long hair (though it’s working for him). He posted a career-high 125 total tackles during the 2022 season.