Kevin Burnett was one of the stars of the defense in 2010, but he'll be moving on this offseason. The Miami Dolphins scooped up the man who started every game in 2010 while picking up 6 sacks and making 80 tackles for the Bolts. According to the Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington, he got a four year deal and will replace Channing Crowder as a starting ILB. However, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that it's a five year deal with $10 million guaranteed. Either way, he is moving on.
The Chargers were thought to be trying to re-sign Burnett, but the early reports weren't good. He claimed that the Chargers hadn't offered him a contract, while the prevailing thought on his situation was that his contract demands were too high. Did the Chargers suddenly get cheap when it came to their 28 year LB? Or were they just too concerned about his injury laden past to take a chance signing him to big money? Either way there's now a hole to be filled in the Chargers second level of defense.
How will the Chargers fill this void? There's been some talk that they'll sign former Green Bay Packers ILB Nick Barnett who was a first round draft pick once upon a time, before Clay Matthews happened and he got bit by the injury bug, Barnett was also the Packers best LB. They also can just hope that 2nd year player Donald Butler or rookie Jonas Mouton can step up, but hope is not a strategy. Another possibility would be to bring back Brandon Siler, but I'm not sure that's the type of LB they are looking for to play opposite Takeo Spikes. There are some other free agency options out there, but none that would seem to be able to provide the Chargers with the type of production Kevin Burnett gave them in 2010.
#99 / Linebacker / Miami Dolphins
Dec 24, 1982