10 Best NFL Free Agent Linebackers in 2023
Linebackers are a crucial part ot any NFL team's defense. Though they might not get as much respect and praise as edge rushers and defensive backs, it's hard to find a championship-caliber team that doesn't have a competent LB room.
There won't be any shortage of desirable linebackers when NFL free agency opens up in less than two months. General managers around the league will do whatever they can to field the best defense possible, meaning that a lot of money will be thrown around.
Whether your team is looking for a legitimate No. 1 LB or just a viable backup option as an insurance plan, here are the 10 best free-agent linebackers available in the 2023 NFL offseason.
10 Best Free Agent Linebackers 2023
1. David Long, Tennessee Titans
David Long's fourth NFL campaign was his best to date. Though the Tennessee Titans LB only played 12 games due to injury, he still set personal bests in tackles (86), tackles for loss (7) and quarterback hits (3). That's not even to mention how he also finished with five broken-up passes and two interceptions. Long will also only be 26 years old when the 2023 campaign begins and as long as his ascent continues, he could become a household name next season on the right team.
2. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While Long has youth on his side, Lavonte David has experience. The three-time All-Pro LB has 166 regular-season games and a Super Bowl ring under his belt, making him appealing to all contenders. He was also productive once again with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, finishing with 124 tackles (his most since 2015), five defended passes and a forced fumble. The 32-year-old is one of the best at his position, so don't be surprised if he ends up being the most targeted linebacker in free agency.
3. Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills
Tremaine Edmunds is an exciting player with a terrific motor. The former Virginia Tech product finished with triple-digit tackles (102) for the fifth consecutive season, also tallying seven defended passes, an interception and a sack in 13 games with the Buffalo Bills. What's even more impressive is that Pro Football Focus rewarded Edmunds with an 86.9 coverage grade — the third-highest rank of all off-ball LBs. With the chance to get even better as time goes on, Edmunds won't see a shortage of suitors.
4. T.J. Edwards, Philadelphia Eagles
Undrafted in 2019, T.J. Edwards finally became an everyday player for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022. The Lake Villa, IL started every one of his team's regular-season outings, finishing the year with 159 tackles, seven broken-up passes and two sacks. His 99 solo tackles also ranked seventh-most in the NFL, highlighting his ascent up the LB rankings. With only 61 games under his belt, the best is yet to come for Edwards.
5. Drue Tranquill, Los Angeles Chargers
Before the 2022 campaign, Drue Tranquill had 152 tackles in 30 games (11 starts). He nearly surpassed that total in 17 games with the Los Angeles Chargers this season, finishing with 146. On top of that, Tranquill also racked up five sacks, four defended passes, a forced fumble and an interception. Needless to say, he's earned his next contract.
6. Bobby Okereke, Indianapolis Colts
With Shaq Leonard sidelined for the majority of the year, the Indianapolis Colts leaned on Bobby Okereke. The good news excelled with the added pressure. Okereke had a career year with 151 tackles (99 solo), five broken-up passes and two forced fumbles. He also only gave up one touchdown on 82 targets after giving up four on 73 attempts last year.
7. Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
A former Pro-Bowler, Leighton Vander Esch is a name to keep an eye on. Though he hasn't reached the heights of his rookie campaign, his 90 tackles over 14 games with the Dallas Cowboys were his best mark since 2018. With the ability to blitz and jump into the pass rush whenever needed, there's still a market for the oft-injured veteran linebacker.
8. Alex Singleton, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos' campaign may have been a disaster, but Alex Singleton still enjoyed a nice season. The 29-year-old's 163 combined tackles ranked fifth-most in the NFL. He also only missed on just 4.1% of his tackle attempts — his lowest since his rookie year — and even broke up three passes along the way. He might not start every week, but he can step up when needed.
9. Kaden Elliss, New Orleans Saints
Kaden Elliss is a solid linebacker with some pass rush upside, which he demonstrated throughout the 2022 season. Elliss' 78 tackles and seven sacks were personal bests, as were his two forces fumbles and two defended passes. His 17 games played also show reliability and health; two things often considered by GMs in free agency.
10. Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals
Germaine Pratt put on a show for Cincinnati Bengals fans this season. The former NC State product paced his teammates with 10 defended passes and finished second with 99 tackles. Furthermore, opposing quarterbacks only completed 62.5% of passes with a 62.1 passer rating when targeting Pratt. He's also started 15 games in each of the last three seasons, highlighting his potential to be an impact player as early as Week 1.
The Duel also ranked the 10 best NFL free agents for each position group:
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Quarterbacks in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Running Backs in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Tight Ends in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Defensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Edge Rushers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Linebackers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Safeties in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Punters in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Kickers in 2023
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.