By Connor Thomas

 

It’s Super Bowl week in the NFL, and as the Bengals and Rams prepare for the big game, the Eagles’ eyes are already on what they can do this offseason to put themselves in position to be one of those teams next season. We’ve already covered some defensive line targets, but another one of the definite spots of need in that pursuit of elite contending is the linebacker position. That’s nothing new in Philly. The Eagles haven’t truly invested in the linebacker position in a while now, but with some cap space and significant draft capital, this could be the offseason they finally break that streak. If they plan to do that by free agency, here are some guys to take a look at:

  • Anthony Walker Jr.

    Walker Jr. had the most productive year of any free agent inside linebacker, putting up a 112 tackle season in 2021 for the Cleveland Browns even after spending the first couple games of the year recovering from a hamstring injury. He’s only 26, which means he should be in for a big pay day, but in theory that could come from the Eagles. The Browns are going to want to keep Walker Jr. in Cleveland, so it would mean Howie Roseman would have to bid high on a position he seems he isn’t interested in, but an enticing young linebacker like him could be enough to change the birds’ minds.

  • Ja’whaun Bentley

    Maybe you haven’t heard of the 25 year old former 5th round pick that had a solid year for the New England Patriots, but his production suggests you will soon. Bentley put up 109 tackles in Bill Belichick’s defense in 2021, and he did so at a great value, making only $690k. Now, as an unrestricted free agent, Bentley is set to make a good amount more than that on his 2nd NFL deal. Would the Pats love to keep him? Yes, but they also have to consider if they want to bring back Dont’a Hightower, who is also a free agent and made $8.8mil this past year. If New England is more focused on securing Hightower, maybe the Eagles can swoop in and try and take advantage of a seemingly budding linebacker talent in Bentley.

  • Foyesade Oluokun

    Remember how we talked about Anthony Walker Jr. putting up the most tackles of any inside linebackers available in 2021 with 112 tackles? Well, Foyesade Oluokun holds that right for outside linebackers… and linebackers in general, and players in the NFL. Oluokun led the league this past year with an unbelievable 192 tackles for the Atlanta Falcons, and he’s now available as a free agent. He just finished out his rookie deal, and at 26 years old he’s set to make a huge upgrade in pay from his mark of $651k. The Eagles would have to absolute outbid every other team interested in Oluokun, and there will be many, but if they do they get one of the most promising young defensive players in the NFL at a major position of need.

  • Kyzir White

    White had a really strong 2021 with the Los Angeles Chargers, tallying 144 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. He is a versatile young linebacker, and is set for his first big NFL pay day just before he turns 26. The Chargers have to take care of some of their big name free agents like Mike Williams first, which could take up enough of their cap to allow White to walk. There will be a lot of suitors, but possibly none with more need at the position than the Eagles. Not only is White a tackling machine, but he was solid in coverage this past year, another huge need filled for the birds. White would represent a huge investment in the position, and could help turn the Eagles’ defense into a more competitive unit.

  • Alex Singleton

    Singleton is not an all-pro. He’s not a pro bowler. But I believe he gets majorly underrated in Philadelphia because of the Eagles’ continuous woes at the linebacker position. The 28 year old has his limitations, but he still has put up back to back 100+ tackle seasons for the birds. You can’t build a defense around an Alex Singleton, but you can sure as hell win with him as part of a defense. Singleton made just $850k this past year, so he should see a pay increase based on his production, but the Eagles should make sure that increase comes in house. Having the ability to go get new talent doesn’t mean you can just let everyone walk, and Singleton should be a guy the birds look to retain.