NFL free agency 2022: Best linebackers available

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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 12: Dont'a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots reacts after losing to the Miami Dolphins 17-16 at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 12: Dont’a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots reacts after losing to the Miami Dolphins 17-16 at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Is your favorite NFL team looking for a linebacker? Here are five of the best linebackers available through NFL free agency in 2022.

Linebackers, as it turns out, are a fairly important part of an NFL team’s defense.

For a team to succeed and have a good defense, it generally helps to have a pretty good linebacker involved. It certainly doesn’t hurt to take an experienced, knowledgeable individual who is good at colliding with opponents and putting that person right in the midst of your team’s defense.

So, with the Super Bowl wrapped up, officially marking the end of the 2021-2022 NFL season for everyone, teams all across the NFL are taking a look at how things make shake out through free agency.

For teams that need a decent (or certainly better than decent) linebacker helping anchor their defense, there are several options available this year. Here are five of the best linebackers available through NFL free agency.

NFL free agency: 5 best linebackers available in 2022 free agency

5. Dont’a Hightower

Let’s start with Dont’a Hightower. His career has been a fairly lengthy one, up to this point, and he’s certainly accomplished quite a bit with the New England Patriots. He’s made the Pro Bowl twice, has won the Super Bowl three times, and he’s been fairly consistent throughout the nine seasons he’s played for the Patriots.

While he is getting older and did appear slower at times during this past season with New England, that doesn’t inherently make him a bad option for a team that needs a linebacker, it’s just something to keep in mind when contract negotiations get started.

The nearly 32-year-old linebacker did take a season off in 2020, allowing his body to really rest from the toll football can take for the first time in a while. During the 2021-2022 season, Hightower played in 15 games and ended up racking up 64 combined tackles, which isn’t bad, all things considered.

However, Hightower only had 1.5 sacks this season.

It’s worth noting the experience he brings to the table might be more valuable than his athleticism. Having played for arguably the most successful franchise the NFL has had this millennia isn’t something that should be ignored and being a longtime member of the Patriots is definitely something that should be highlighted.

If he can be picked up for a contract that doesn’t break anyone’s budget, Hightower could be a great addition for many teams.

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