5 Unrestricted Free Agent Safeties and Where They Might Land.

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I’ll start this off with one of my favorite players.Eric Weddle.Eric was a phenom in college. Setting numerous conference records. Since he’s come into the league he’s been a steadying force on the Chargers defense. Several teams will be looking into acquiring his services in the next few days. He’s a great teammate and he makes plays all over the field. Over his four year career he’s been good for 100 tackles per season, numerous passes defensed and a few interceptions per year. A very solid player that any team would be lucky to have. I believe his best case scenario is to re-sign with San Diego. But considering the Chargers history with their free agents is suspect he’ll sign elsewhere. A logical destination for him would be Houston as their defensive back field could use as many playmakers as they can get. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a possibility as well.

Next on my list is Roman Harper. He was instrumental during the Saints championship run two years ago. I’m sure he’ll also test the waters in free agency. I do think that he would love to return to the Saints, but only if the offer is competitive with the others he will get. I would suspect that he might give the Saints a bit of a home town discount because he loves to play there. Since his second year in the league he’s averaged 90 plus tackles a season. He only has 4 interceptions in his 5 seasons, but he does have an impressive 9.5 sacks and 12 forced fumbles from the safety position. That is production. He is also a steadying influence on the Saints secondary. After testing the market, I believe he will return the Saints.

At number three on my list, Atari Bigby. It seems every other year he suffers some sort of injury. 2010 was one such down year. But over his career, when healthy, he’s been a steady playmaker for the Packers. He is always around the ball, as indicated by his 10 career interceptions. With so few quality safeties out there, I think he’ll be moving on from the Super Bowl Champs in search of a better payday. He’s due for a rebound season. He’s had time to get over his injury and should be an above average addition to whomever signs him. Because of his injury history, he can probably be had at a substantially discounted rate. If he plays up to his potential, he could be a steal.

Another guy I love is Dawan Landry. He’s an exceptional athlete, and has been a key cog in one of the leagues best defenses for the last five years. He is one of the most sought after free agent safeties of this current class. Aside from 2008 when he was limited because of injuries he has been a highly productive player for the Ravens. He’s a tackling machine and has a very respectable 9 interceptions during his career. Landry and Ed Reed complement and play off each other well. One of the main reasons the Raven’s defense has been so consistently good over the last several years is their chemistry. I would expect the Ravens to make him a fair offer and although he will most certainly test the market, I expect he will return to Baltimore.

The Bills had high hopes for Donte Whitner and he has yet to realize his full potential. But one thing can be said for him, he’s a fairly consistent. Averaging 50 or so tackles a season with five interceptions and 3 forced fumbles. Luckily, I don’t think he’s hit his ceiling yet. If Buffalo doesn’t make him an offer, someone else will. His stats aren’t exceptional but they are steady. In today’s NFL steady gets the job done. I believe he’ll stay in the AFC East. Possibly landing with the Patriots or the Jets. Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan are exceptional defensive minds who know how to get the most out of their players. They should be able to coax the best out of him.


All Player Stats Courtesy of Espn.com