Derrick Brooks is another player who many expected would have been signed earlier than now. That is because Brooks has been one of the most menacing and impressive defenders in the pros since he joined the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995.
Since his arrival to the league, Derrick had been the staple of one of the most feared defenses in the NFL. But this offseason, he was let go by the team that he had helped make great for so long. Back in the 2002-2003 season, Brooks won the Super Bowl with the Bucs.
That same year, he was named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He is an eleven-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time All-Pro pick.
He participated in the NFL's version of the All-Star Game just this past season, and made the trip to Honolulu every year prior to that since 1997, with the exception of 200.
This makes it a surprise that he would be released by Tampa in the ensuing offseason. His 1,068 career tackles don't hurt either. He also has 13.5 sacks, 112 passes broken up, 25 interceptions, 560 return yards, 6 touchdowns, 24 fumbles forced, 4 recoveries, 15 return yards, and another score, giving him a total of seven.
While age is a factor in team's lack of interest in Brooks, he is in very good shape for a 36-year old, although he may only have a couple good years left in him.
But he is a leader in every sense of the word and can provide a spark to any defense he joins. He can take command and dominate any game, making him an excellent decision for any team looking to strengthen their linebacker corps.