2020 Free Agency Positional Preview – Safety
Leading up to the beginning of free agency (3/18 at 4pmET),we’ll be looking position by position at the available free agent pool anddiscussing the state of the pool (for gems, sleepers, busts) and making somethrowaway predictions on the landing spots of the top free agents.
Today, we look at: Safety
Just thinking about DBs in general – the cornerback freeagent class looks promising in 2020, more so than in most years. A couple oftop shelf guys might be available as well as bigger name veterans. However, thesafety free agent class is a bit different. There are no big ‘wow’ franchisenames likely available, the only one that might be is Denver’s Justin Simmons,but he will be franchise tagged first…no way he is hitting the market.
There are not huge names available at safety, like there arelikely at cornerback, but there are a ton of competent/good safety names towork with – which means this safety free agent class will be like recentones…lower paid, slower to be signed/land places as teams do not feel they haveto rush into ‘OK’ safety options with so many available.
Before we predict landing spots on the top names and guys ofinterest, let’s name the Best, the Bust, the Sleeper and Deep Sleeper of the2020 safety free agent group…
BEST = Sean Davis/PIT…a top rankedsafety after his excellent 2018 but missed all of 2019 with injury so he’sfallen off the radar but he is by far the most talented safety available (ignoringJ. Simmons).
The hidden value of Davis is like Byron Jones – someteam needs to pay Davis cheap safety market value but then covert him tocornerback, what he was in college. Byron Jones was wasted for years asa nice safety when he could’ve been a lockdown corner (as he became,eventually). Well, Davis might give the same…or just be a nice safety.
BUST = Jimmy Ward/SF…a weird careerpattern – it seems like just as the 49ers were about to give up on him atvarious points, he started playing well. But when they felt secure about him,he started faltering or getting hurt. It’s been a rocky road with Ward and SFfor years…if the 49ers are giving up, I don’t see why he’s a bargain for anyoneelse.
SLEEPER = Damarious Randall/CLE…was areally nice player for them in 2018 and again in 2019, until he got hurt in2019 and faded off and then the regime change. He’s a quality player flyingsomewhat below the radar.
DEEP SLEEPER = Eric Murray/CLE…a solidCB out of Minnesota/college, who was turned into a safety/corner hybrid andthen just safety with KC over his first three NFL seasons. Then he was tradedto Cleveland and was lost in their mess. He gives safety and corner options andis a nice, tough/gritty player…the kind you need on title teams to giveflexibility and do dirty work.
Sean Davis = David Tepper takes his Steelersconnections and helps make a steal of a signing for Carolina.
Jimmie Ward = A team like the Bengals or the Chargerscould go for him with too much money and no one to spend it on.
Anthony Harris = Seems to be an ‘it’ safety of freeagency. I think the Vikings do what they can to hold on to him, and he’ll gofor less than people think.
Karl Joseph = A nice Tampa Bay reclamation projectattempt.
Vonn Bell = The Saints are pinched for money and letshim go to a team like the Falcons (if they give up on Keanu Neal).
Tre Boston = Goes with Ron Rivera over to Washington.
Damarious Randall = If the 49ers can get a deal here.
Eric Murray = Might be a gamble by the Vikings whohave little money to spend and may have a need for SAF depth/youth, and Murrayplayed for Minnesota in college.
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