NFL Free Agency Tracker: 5 Linebacker Targets for the Philadelphia Eagles

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NFL Free Agency Tracker: 5 Linebacker Targets for the Philadelphia Eagles
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Without question, the biggest detriment to the Philadelphia Eagles' 2011 season was the below average play of their undersized linebacking corps.

To assuage the problems the Eagles had in 2010, the team drafted LB Casey Matthews in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft, expecting him to follow in his brother Clay's footsteps and be the future of the defensive unit. Unfortunately, Matthews had a hard time making the transition from college to the NFL, recording a pedestrian 37 tackles through 16 games played.

Over the course of the season, the Eagles made several changes to the linebacking unit, trying out rookie Brian Rolle as well as third-year players Jamar Chaney and Keenan Clayton.

None of them appeared to possess enough talent to be able to run the defense from the middle linebacker position.

Perhaps the most obvious problem with the Eagles' linebackers was their size. Of the seven linebackers listed on the 2011 team roster, none of them stand taller then 6'1", with their average weight a meager 235 pounds.

In 2011, no team was better then the San Francisco 49ers when it came to stopping the run, allowing just 77 yards per game and three rushing touchdowns all season. Their average weight? 249 pounds.

This offseason, there are several available linebackers who would make great additions to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.

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