2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker: Linebackers


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2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker: Linebackers

The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major skill player transaction from the 2023 off-season in our 2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2022 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2023 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.

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NOTE: Players are loosely ranked based on talent, age, plus previous and expected future fantasy relevance.

New Homes

Tremaine Edmunds (Chi, 25) — Edmunds essentially replaces Roquan Smith in Chi-town, riding in on a deal for 4 years/$72 Million.

Fantasy Points: At first blush, it may look like a head-scratcher. Why replace Smith with Edmunds, who was nowhere near as productive in Buffalo as Smith was in Chicago? But Edmunds is a better fit for the revamped Chicago defense, plus they got a 2nd-round pick for Smith. Edmunds has hit triple-digit tackles every season and should see that number rise noticeably in a Matt Eberflus defense.

Bobby Okereke (NYG, 27) — Okereke lands in a great spot, notching a with the LB-needy Giants for 4 years/$40 Million.

Fantasy Points: Okereke was thrust into more playing with Indy when Shaquille Leonard couldn’t stay healthy. He racked up 132 and 151 tackles respectively over the last two seasons with Leonard mostly sidelined. He moves to New York, where the Giants couldn’t plug the hole left by Blake Martinez last season. Okereke’s path to 1,100 snaps and 125+ tackles is crystal clear.

Eric Kendricks (LAC, 31) — Kendricks signed a 2-year/$13 Million deal with the Chargers.

Fantasy Points: Kendricks has lost a step, but still racked up 137 tackles last season. The short and cheap deal gives him another year or two of IDP relevance and he found a great spot to keep producing. He’ll replace Drue Tranquill in the middle and has a chance to post his 8th 100+ tackle season in a row.

Others Changing Teams

Kyzir White (Ari, 27) — White signed a 2-year/$10,000,000 contract with the Cardinals. He’s likely a rotational player unless they continue to jack up the development of Isaiah Simmons.

Staying Put

Alex Anzalone (Det, 28) — Anzalone proves he still must have incriminating photos of someone on the Lions staff, as he manages to get another contract out of Detroit. It’s a 3-year deal for $18.7 Million.

Fantasy Points: You gotta tip your cap to this fella. He hangs around the middle of the defense, falling into tackles and getting burned in coverage, and at the end of the year, he ends up with 125 tackles. He’s the definition of a compiler with scant big-play upside and can see age 30 on the horizon. But if he remains an every-down player for Detroit, he’ll keep compiling. The question is, how much longer can he be a 3-down LB? We thought that ship would have sailed by now.

Leighton Vander Esch (Dal, 27) — The Cowboys lock up their MLB on a 2-year/$11 Million contract.

Fantasy Points: The rollercoaster that has been LVE’s career belongs next to the Tower of Terror. He’s gone from nobody to stud to almost cut to bench player to 2-down starter. DC Dan Quinn seems to like him manning the middle on early downs while using his three safeties more in passing situations. If that continues, LVE will have nothing more than LB3 value. But he’s also a buy-low candidate who would have hit triple-digit tackles had he stayed healthy for all 17 games last season.

Lavonte David (TB, 33) — LD stays in tax-free Florida on a 1-year/$7 Million deal.

Fantasy Points: You won’t find a bigger fan of David than me. He still played at a high level last season, but he’s likely an LB3/LB4 on what might be his final season. His big play numbers have dropped over the last few seasons, and that’s a major part of his game.

Others Staying Put

None of note.

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.