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2012 NFL Free Agents: Safeties




2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
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2012 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2012.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Tyvon Branch, SS, Raiders. Age: 25.
    Franchised by Raiders

    Tyvon Branch is a talented strong safety who has many good years left ahead of him. The Raiders can't afford to let him get away.

  2. Michael Griffin, S, Titans. Age: 27.
    Franchised by Titans

    Michael Griffin played very well in 2011, but had issues with consistency beforehand. He could join Cortland Finnegan in playing under Jeff Fisher again in St. Louis.



  3. LaRon Landry, SS, Redskins. Age: 27.
    Signed with Jets (1 year, $4 million)

    LaRon Landry would be ranked much higher than this if he weren't so injury-prone. Landry has played in just 17 games the past two years. He could miss some more time next season because of an Achilles injury (not torn).

  4. Dashon Goldson, FS, 49ers. Age: 27.
    Franchised by 49ers

    There are a lot of posts about Dashon Goldson in the comment board below, so I'll address this ranking. Goldson stinks in coverage. That's why I initially put him at 1.5 stars, but you could argue two or 2.5 because of his ability against the run. Of the safeties who have played 800-plus snaps this year, he's surrendered the eighth-highest completion percentage. He allowed four touchdowns this year (tied for fifth among safeties) despite the amazing front seven he has in front of him. He's tied for sixth in penalties among safeties this year. If he played behind a mediocre front seven, he would be exposed. Those who just look at stats and Pro Bowl voting might think Goldson is great, but he's just a backup at best.

  5. Dwight Lowery, FS, Jaguars. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Jaguars (4 years)

    Dwight Lowery was solid in taking over for Courtney Greene at first, but was slowed down late by a shoulder injury. He's not a proven commodity though.

  6. Tanard Jackson, S, Buccaneers. Age: 27.
    Signed with Redskins

    Tanard Jackson was considered to be one of the NFL's top up-and-coming safeties prior to his season-long suspension in 2010. He returned to the lineup last year, but really struggled. He's still young and talented, so maybe he can revert to 2009 form with good coaching.

  7. Mike Adams, FS, Browns. Age: 31.
    Signed with Broncos

    Mike Adams is a serviceable free safety. The Browns could upgrade him, but they have way too many other things to focus on this offseason.



  8. Jim Leonhard, SS, Jets. Age: 29.
    Signed with Broncos

    Jim Leonhard is a good player, but he tore his patellar tendon in December. He won't be ready for the start of the 2012 campaign.

  9. Reggie Nelson, FS, Bengals. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Bengals

    Reggie Nelson found a home in Marvin Lewis' defense, performing well early on. However, he really struggled down the stretch.

  10. Thomas DeCoud, FS, Falcons. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Falcons (5 years, $17.5 million; $4 million guaranteed)

    Thomas DeCoud is good in run support, but tends to get lost in coverage. He performed poorly in the beginning of the year, but picked up his play late.

  11. O.J. Atogwe, FS, Redskins. Age: 31.
    Signed with Eagles (1 year)

    O.J. Atogwe still would be a decent safety if he could stay healthy, but that has been really difficult for him over the past couple of years.

  12. Nick Collins, FS, Packers. Age: 29.
    I'm really not sure what to do with Nick Collins in terms of these rankings. He's a 4.5-star talent, but his career could be over because of a neck injury. The fact that the Packers cut him speaks volumes.



  13. Charlie Peprah, S, Packers. Age: 29.
  14. Melvin Bullitt, S, Colts. Age: 27.
  15. Deon Grant, S, Giants. Age: 33.
  16. Craig Steltz, SS, Bears. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Bears (2 years)
  17. Brodney Pool, S, Cowboys. Age: 28.
  18. Chris Crocker, S, Bengals. Age: 32.
  19. Rashad Johnson (RFA), FS, Cardinals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Cardinals (1 year, $1.26 million)
  20. Tom Zbikowski, SS, Ravens. Age: 27. -- Signed with Colts (3 years)
  21. Haruki Nakamura, S, Ravens. Age: 26. -- Signed with Panthers (3 years)
  22. Chris Harris, S, Lions. Age: 30.
  23. Jordan Babineaux, SS, Titans. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Titans (2 years, $5 million)
  24. Sean Jones, SS, Buccaneers. Age: 30. -- Signed with Lions
  25. Yeremiah Bell, SS, Dolphins. Age: 34. -- Signed with Jets (1 year, $1.4 million)
  26. Chris Hope, SS, Titans. Age: 31.
  27. Steve Gregory, S, Chargers. Age: 29. -- Signed with Patriots (3 years)
  28. Reggie Smith, S, 49ers. Age: 25. -- Signed with Panthers
  29. Abram Elam, S, Cowboys. Age: 30.
  30. Tyrell Johnson, S, Vikings. Age: 27. -- Signed with Dolphins
  31. Courtney Greene, S, Jaguars. Age: 25. -- Re-signed with Jaguars (1 year, $1.26 million)
  32. Atari Bigby, SS, Seahawks. Age: 30. -- Signed with Chargers (2 years)
  33. Brian Dawkins, SS, Broncos. Age: 38. -- Announced retirement
  34. Husain Abdullah, S, Vikings. Age: 27.
  35. Corey Lynch, S, Buccaneers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chargers
  36. Bryan Scott, S, Bills. Age: 31. -- Re-signed with Bills
  37. Jon McGraw, S, Chiefs. Age: 33.
  38. Matt Giordano, S, Raiders. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Raiders
  39. James Ihedigbo, S, Patriots. Age: 28.
  40. Brandon Meriweather, S, Bears. Age: 28. -- Signed with Redskins (2 years, $6 million)
  41. James Sanders, SS, Falcons. Age: 28. -- Signed with Cardinals
  42. Ryan Mundy (RFA), S, Steelers. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Steelers (1 year, $1.26 million)
  43. Madieu Williams, FS, 49ers. Age: 30. -- Signed with Redskins
  44. C.J. Spillman (RFA), S, 49ers. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with 49ers (3 years, $6 million)
  45. Erik Coleman, S, Lions. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Lions (1 year)
  46. Paul Oliver, S, Chargers. Age: 28.
  47. Dominique Barber, S, Texans. Age: 26.
  48. Quintin Demps (RFA), S, Texans. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Texans
  49. Gibril Wilson, S, Bengals. Age: 30.
  50. Jarrad Page, S, Vikings. Age: 27. -- Announced retirement
  51. Sabby Piscitelli, S, Chiefs. Age: 29.
  52. Hamza Abdullah, S, Cardinals. Age: 29.
  53. Sean Considine, S, Cardinals. Age: 29. -- Signed with Ravens
  54. Bobby Sanders, SS, Chargers. Age: 31.
  55. Anthony Smith, S, Titans. Age: 28.
  56. Derrick Martin, S, Giants. Age: 27.
  57. Gerald Alexander, S, Jets. Age: 28.
  58. Jon Corto, S, Bills. Age: 27.
  59. Hiram Eugene, S, Raiders. Age: 31.




2012 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Mock


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Dashon Goldson 02-21-2012 06:52 pm xxx.xxx.xxx6.82 (total posts: 1)
63     41

Goldson is mediocre just like you said Walt. Don't let the comments convince you otherwise - hard data tells a different story just like you said.


Goldson is solid against the run, and AWFUL against the pass - he made the Pro Bowl because of the best front 7 in the past decade, not because of his own talents.
Chris 02-11-2012 05:01 am xxx.xxx.xxx.144 (total posts: 1)
15     17

Seems a bit high on Branch...

Scouts Inc. had him graded as a 67 before the season, and he didn't really do much out of his ordinary this season.
2.5 Stars for Goldson? 02-10-2012 05:59 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.106 (total posts: 1)
46     53

Goldson gives up some plays downfeld, but he has great ball skills and forces fumbles. He's a playmaker. To have him rated the same as Dwight Lowery and Mike Adams is ridiculous. He was 7th in All-Pro voting among safeties, yet he's a backup level player? Get real. It's funny how you say people who only look at stats think he's good, yet you only look at the stats and think he's bad. I've actually watched every snap of his career. He's a good player.
49ers Fan 02-07-2012 09:46 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.60 (total posts: 2)
31     40

Dashon Goldson is a mediocre safety...he is fundamentally unsound but he makes big plays. The collisions he caused in the NFC championship only reinforce the idea. When the corner is making a play on the ball, a good safety focuses on tackling the receiver, not going for the big hit or pick on every single play. 1 1/2 stars is way off, but 2 1/2 is about right. You can't deny he has real big play ability, so he does have value in the right scheme. He really has always been a strong safety playing on the free safety side. As a strong safety, he probably deserves 3 or 3 1/2 stars. At FS, 2 1/2 is accurate.
49ers Fan 02-07-2012 09:46 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.60 (total posts: 2)
26     35

Dashon Goldson is a mediocre safety...he is fundamentally unsound but he makes big plays. The collisions he caused in the NFC championship only reinforce the idea. When the corner is making a play on the ball, a good safety focuses on tackling the receiver, not going for the big hit or pick on every single play. 1 1/2 stars is way off, but 2 1/2 is about right. You can't deny he has real big play ability, so he does have value in the right scheme. He really has always been a strong safety playing on the free safety side. As a strong safety, he probably deserves 3 or 3 1/2 stars. At FS, 2 1/2 is accurate.
Craig 02-07-2012 10:39 am xxx.xxx.xxx1.68 (total posts: 1)
31     26

My Tampa Bay Buccaneers wish list:
RB - Kahlil Bell or Kevin Smith
WR - Pierre Garcon and Mario Manningham or Eddie Royal
TE - Martellus Bennett
OG - Carl Nicks
DE - Resign Michael Bennett
OLB - Erin Henderson or Manny Lawson
ILB - Curtis Lofton
CB - Ladarius Webb or Richard Marshall
S - Laron Landry or Tyvon Branch
Obviously I don't expect all of them, but three or Four would put the team back in the right direction. My first three would be Garcon, Lofton, and Nicks.
Dashon Goldson's Mom 01-31-2012 11:35 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.174 (total posts: 1)
219     224

Even I have to agree with Walt. My son sucks...bad. I mean I love him and all but gentlemen let's call a spade a spade. Boy ain't never been able to read an offense and he don't know how to spell angle much less know how to take one. Nah here boys Walt has this one right.
Danny 01-28-2012 08:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.191 (total posts: 1)
17     23

Stewart doesn't have any Pro Bowls ahead of him, let alone many.
@upside 01-27-2012 04:27 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.86 (total posts: 1)
13     23

Nitpicking. The stats are plain as day. He was one of the worst safeties in the league in allowed completions and allowed TDs
hahaha 01-26-2012 08:51 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.41 (total posts: 1)
17     18

bahaha at the Rams having a top safety corps in the NFL
wow... 01-22-2012 09:38 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.146 (total posts: 1)
20     20

The rams don't need a safety....we have one of the top safety corps in the nfl with mikell and stewart.....who likely has many probowls ahead of him
OFWGKTA 01-22-2012 09:03 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.251 (total posts: 1)
17     18

Tanard Jackson is very good just an idiot. I personally think Laron Landry shoulde be ranked around 4 stars. atleast 3 1/2.
WDYW711 01-22-2012 07:25 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.138 (total posts: 1)
17     15

What about Tanard Jackson? He's a free agent, isn't he? He isn't any good, but why isn't he listed?
Brandon 01-22-2012 01:14 am xxx.xxx.xxx.147 (total posts: 1)
152     98

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually agree with Walter about Dashon Goldson, and I'm a huge Niners fan. Yes, Goldson had 6 interceptions this season and put some big hits on opposing players, but his bad plays outweigh his good plays by a wide margin. I watched every play of every 49ers game, and I can tell you that there might not be another safety in the league who takes worse angles or has a lower football IQ than Goldson. Also, he has no idea how to wrap up on a tackle. He is definitely the weakest link on that defense.
upside93 01-21-2012 06:18 am xxx.xxx.xxx43.8 (total posts: 1)
162     156

"Dashon Goldson really struggled at times in 2010, but that might be because he played through so many injuries. Coming off a down year, Goldson could be a bargain in free agency."

That's what you said last season Walt. And he comes back in 2011 and a ridiculously good pro bowl season and all you do is nit pick him apart.

I don't understand why, but you've made it blatantly obvious you have something against the 49ers. Maybe you're just butthurt that you predicted them to go 4-12 and now they're one step away from the super bowl.


NFL Free Agents - April 19


2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 16


Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


2014 NBA Mock Draft - March 26


NFL Picks - Feb. 2





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