Entries in Linebacker (35)


Bears Decline Option on LB Shea McClellin

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Chicago Bears declined their fifth-year option on linebacker Shea McClellin, general manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday.

McClellin would have earned $7.715 million in 2016 if the option was picked up. He will earn $775,600 base salary and a $741,227 roster bonus this season, the final year of his original rookie contract.

McClellin was selected by the Bears with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he's played in 40 regular season games, recording 80 tackles and 7.5 sacks.

McClellin played his first two seasons as a defensive end before moving to outside linebacker last season. That may work out in his favor this season, because under new head coach John Fox, the Bears have instituted a 3-4 defensive scheme -- the same scheme McClellin played in college at Boise State.

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Bucs Sign LB Bruce Carter to 4-Year Deal

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free agent linebacker Bruce Carter to a four-year deal Wednesday.

Carter, 27, played his first four NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys after the team selected him with the 40th overall pick of the 2011 draft.

Carter has had an injury-riddled career to this point. He played in only 10 games in 2011 after he recovered from a torn ACL that he suffered in college. In 2012, he dislocated his elbow limiting him to 12 games, and he missed three games last season due to a quadriceps injury.

Carter provides Tampa Bay with some security at the linebacker position: starting middle linebacker Mason Foster and reserve Dane Fletcher both became free agents on Tuesday.

Over Carter's four NFL seasons, he's played in 49 games recording 256 tackles, 17 passes defended, five interceptions, three sacks, and a touchdown.

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Colts' LB Jackson Calls Deflate-Gate "Comical"

Tom Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The man who intercepted the ball that supposedly started "Deflate-gate" says he had no clue that New England's footballs were underinflated during the AFC Championship Game -- and added that the fallout is "comical."

Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson says he couldn't tell if the ball he intercepted off New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the team's 45-7 loss Sunday was deflated.

"I'm a linebacker, I'm a defensive guy," Jackson said to reporters after Thursday's Pro Bowl practice. "If anybody recognized anything it definitely wouldn't come from me."

Jackson said after he intercepted the ball, he gave it to the Colts equipment staff to save for him as a souvenir. Jackson is dumbfounded how the football eventually ended up with NFL officials.

"I don't know how it got to this point," he said. "Somehow I'm in the middle of it."

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49ers Place Bowman, Dorsey on Season-Ending IR

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The San Francisco 49ers placed linebacker NaVorro Bowman and nose tackle Glenn Dorsey on the season-ending injured reserve Saturday.

Bowman and Dorsey each hadn't played a snap all season.

Bowman, who is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee that he suffered in last season's NFC Championship game, was actually activated to the 53 man roster Tuesday but never practiced.

Dorsey, who is coming back from a torn bicep which he suffered in training camp, was a limited participant in practice this week.

The 49ers have called-up cornerback Marcus Cromartie and guard Andrew Tiller from the practice squad to take Bowman and Dorsey's roster spots.

San Francisco (7-6) will be in Seattle Sunday to take on the Seahawks (9-4).

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Colts Sign LB Mathis to Extension

Rob Carr/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Linebacker Robert Mathis may be out for the season, but that didn't stop the Indianapolis Colts from wanting to keep the five-time Pro Bowler around longer.

The 33-year-old Mathis signed a one-year contract extension with the Colts Tuesday that will keep him with the team through the 2016 season.

According to, Mathis can make up to $6 million in 2016.

Mathis was suspended the first four games of this season after violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

During his suspension, Mathis tore his Achilles tendon while working out on his own, causing him to be placed on the season-ending injured reserve.

Last season, Mathis played in all 16 games for the Colts, recording 59 tackles and 10 forced fumbles while leading the NFL in sacks with 19.5.

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ESPN: Steelers Lose LB Jarvis Jones at Least 8 Weeks

Pittsburgh Steelers/NFL(PITTSBURGH) -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones was placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list Monday, according to

Jones had surgery on his wrist Monday after he dislocated it during the team's 37-19 victory over the Carolina Panthers Sunday.

The Steelers used their one annual injured reserve exemption on Jones, meaning the linebacker will be able to practice in six weeks and play in a game in eight weeks if deemed healthy.

The 24-year-old Jones, who was drafted by the Steelers with the 17th overall selection of the 2013 NFL Draft, had 14 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in three games this season.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, linebacker James Harrison, who retired less than three weeks ago, is expected to join the Steelers.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Cardinals LB Abraham Takes Leave, Contemplating Retirement

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham has taken a leave of absence and told his coach Bruce Arians that he's losing his desire to play football.

The 36-year-old Abraham, who is the NFL's all-time active sacks leader (133.5), left the team's win over the San Diego Chargers in the third quarter Monday with a concussion.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Abraham has dealt with severe memory loss for more than a year.

"I think when you get to that age, and for whatever reason, if that game on Monday Night Football and that atmosphere didn't have you flying around like always or more, then something is missing," Arians said. "That's basically what he reflected to me. He said, 'There were times in that game I wasn't in it, and that's not fair to my teammates. I've got to decide if this is what I still really want to do.'"

Abraham was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He's played in 192 games since then recording 547 tackles, 47 forced fumbles, and one touchdown.

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Saints Ink Galette to 4-Year Extension

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- Linebacker Junior Galette signed a four-year, $41.5 million contract extension with the New Orleans Saints Wednesday.

The extension keeps Galette with the team through the 2019 season, and $23 million is guaranteed.

According to ESPN, the contract could be worth $48 million if Galette records 12 sacks this season.

"I feel like I'm gonna give 'em a discount," Galette said. "But I'm content with what I got. If you're not happy with what they gave me, then you'll never be content."

Galette, 26, had a breakout season last year starting 15 games while compiling 42 tackles, 12 sacks, and one forced fumble.

The 6-foot-2, 257 pound Galette joined the Saints in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of Stillman College.

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Longtime Steelers Linebacker James Harrison Retires 

NFL via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Linebacker James Harrison will retire from the NFL.

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year made the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday.

"I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today," Harrison posted. "My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career.

"My love for the game isn't strong enough to make up for missing one more birthday or first day of school."

Harrison joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002 as a undrafted free agent out of Akron. The five-time Pro Bowler proceeded to play the next 10 seasons in Pittsburgh, where he was part of two Super Bowl winning teams.

Harrison was released by the Steelers following the 2012 season and played last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Harrison had one of the least productive years of his career in Cincinnati. He played in 15 games, recording 30 tackles and two sacks.

The Bengals cut Harrison in March and the 36-year-old had been trying to find another team to play for before finally deciding to announce his retirement.

Harrison finishes his 11 year NFL career playing in 146 regular season games, compiling 647 tackles, 66 sacks, 29 forced fumbles and six interceptions.


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Report: Bengals Give Burfict 4-Year Extension

David Lee/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- Linebacker Vontaze Burfict agreed to a four-year, $20.05 million contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, according to

Burfict, who was an undrafted rookie out of Arizona State in 2012, started all 16 games last season for a Bengals defense that ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed. He played a big part in that ranking, leading the league in tackles with 171, while also compiling three sacks, eight passes defended, one forced fumble, and an interception.

"It's great to have this deal done and know I'm going to be here beyond this season," Burfict said. "We can have a great defense again this year, even better than the last couple years."

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