Top Defensive Free Agents 2012

CB Cortland Finnegan, ILB Stephen Tulloch and DE Kendall Langford are among the better soon to be free agents.

This coming Tuesday afternoon begins the NFL’s 2012 business calendar, including the start of free agency for the players and clubs.

Earlier in the week we took a look at the best offensive free agents that are expected to be available come next week.

Today, we zero in on the defensive players who as of Thursday at 2 p.m. did not have contracts for the 2012 season. Several were in negotiations with their clubs and this type of list could be shuffled quite a bit as teams try to keep their better players off the free agency street.

The value of defensive players can be seen in what are really slim pickings among the free agents, especially at key positions like nose tackle, outside linebacker and cornerback. For instance, at cornerback only Tennessee with Cortland Finnegan and the Chiefs with Brandon Carr have not gone out and re-signed their own highly rated coverage guys.

Here are the top defensive players:

Pos Player

Age/Ex*

Status**

Notes
DT Brodrick Bunkley

28/6

Active

Former Eagles No. 1 pick, he can play all d-line positions.
  Paul Soliai

28/5

Active

At 6-4, 355 pounds, he’s the big body every 3-4 defense wants.
DE Kendall Langford

26/4

Active

Langford had the less productive season of his career in ’11.
  Mario Williams

27/6

IR

He moved to OLB last year with Texans, but he’s really a DE.
ILB Stephen Tulloch

27/6

Active

Big play middle LB in Lions defense; very active vs. run/pass.
  Curtis Lofton

26/4

Active

Solid player in Atlanta defense, especially against the run.
OLB Kamerion Wimbley

28/6

Active

Should be released any day now by the Raiders for cap reasons.
  Manny Lawson

28/6

Active

Former SF No. 1 pick, moved to Cincy last year; solid vs. run.
CB Cortland Finnegan

28/6

Active

Feisty cover guy who has been hit with multiple fines over career.
  Tim Jennings

28/6

Active

He’s not just a cover guy; he’ll hit on the run as well.
S LaRon Landry

27/5

Active

Depends on his recovery from Achilles injury; a bit of a diva.
  Jim Leonhard

29/7

IR

Blew out his knee late in ’11 season; if healthy he’s worth a look.

*-age on opening day of the 2012 NFL schedule and experience is seasons completed; **-status is as of the end of the 2011 season.


4 Responses to “Top Defensive Free Agents 2012”

  • March 8, 2012  - txchief says:

    Bunkley would be a great addition to the defensive line. Peyton needs to make up his mind on ASAP, so that the bean counters can figure how much there is left spend!


  • March 8, 2012  - Michael says:

    Bunkley or Soliai would be great additions. Missing from the list is LB Dan Conner (Panthers) who would really add the Chiefs LB corps. Sorry they let Demorrio Williams walk, a pros-pro and a good player. Snapped up quickly by the Chargers. As with Bob’s offensive list, these are only some of the top choices. Many, many other defensive guys out there that could make the Chiefs better and provide depth.


  • March 9, 2012  - R W says:

    There’s a couple of guys there who could make some sense if they pass the physical and a few who will have to be over paid. Overall, an average list one might expect at this time of year.

    Then you have to weigh the age/price of these guys against players who could be drafted, play longer and cheaper. Then too, how many of these guys have their best days behind them as many are flirting with the big 30 yr old mark?


  • March 9, 2012  - Michael says:

    Free agency is not about the team’s future; it’s about making your team better and giving it better depth now. If you can do it and still maintain a healthy cap situation, there’s no reason not to and all kinds of reason to go for it; like winning.




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