Veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby was informed by the Cleveland Browns that he will be released on Wednesday following the Browns' signing of free agent linebacker Demario Davis from the Jets. The 34-year old Dansby was drafted in 2004 out of Auburn by the Arizona Cardinals, and has spent time with the Dolphins and Browns as well.
Dansby was one of the first big signings when former Browns GM Ray Farmer took over, and was released as part of a "youth movement". I suppose when a team loses all its good players and will have to draft players in their place, that counts as a youth movement.
There is no doubt that the 6'3", 251-pound Dansby can still play. He led the Browns in tackles last season with 108 while adding tight end coverage to his list of main responsibilities. He had three interceptions last season, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He has been a ball hawk at MLB over his career, racking up 19 picks over a 12-year period.
This is not a player who will be unemployed for long, but the question is if Oakland should sign him to man their middle linebacker position vacated by Curtis Lofton. Dansby is strong in virtually all aspects of his game, it's just his age that would be a concern. However, the upcoming draft is chock full of solid middle linebackers and the Raiders could draft one and let Dansby man the position while the new player and Ben Heeney develop.
The Raider defense is extremely young at this juncture, and perhaps a short-term deal for a veteran linebacker could provide some veteran stability to a unit expected to achieve great things in the upcoming season.