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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

Leave a comment

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Walter 01-20-2012 07:44 pm (total posts: 1)
222     475

Dashon Goldson stinks. That's why he's 1.5 stars. Of the safeties who have played 800+ snaps this year, he's surrendered the eighth-highest completion percentage. He allowed 4 TDs this year (tied for 5th among safeties) despite the amazing front seven he has in front of him. He's tied for sixth in penalties among safeties this year.

In short, Goldson's Pro Bowl spot is such a farce.
Brando 01-20-2012 06:32 pm (total posts: 1)
82     16

Goldson > Lowery, Adams, and all the other bums below there
DanielNieto 01-20-2012 05:36 pm (total posts: 1)
101     34

why is dashon goldson 1 and a half stars? He was mentioned to the probowl and is in one of the best defenses in the nfl.
Why are any of you surprised? 01-20-2012 12:42 pm (total posts: 1)
38     34

Walt doesn't know anything at all about football. There's no reason to be surprised about one of the best young safeties in the game, one who has proven himself beyond any reasonable doubt, is rated poorly because Walt refuses to acknowledge when he's wrong which happens to be 95% of the time.

This is an unintentional parody site. Treat it as such and you'll do just fine here.
Steve 01-20-2012 06:41 am (total posts: 1)
374     30

Walt, I get it if you don't like Dashon Goldson, or if you think there are better prospects available in the draft or free agency, but whats going on? You had him ranked with at least 3 stars during last offseason's write up if I remember correctly, and even said something to the effect of "it wouldn't be the end of the world if he returned, but he can be upgraded". Then he records 6 picks, absolutely lays the wood on opposing offensive players, and makes the Pro Bowl, yet he gets downgraded to 1.5 stars and 9th on the free agent list? Did he wrong you in a past life?
Kiddingme? 01-20-2012 03:32 am (total posts: 1)
784     35

Dashon Goldson 1.5 stars??
JB 08-04-2011 03:18 pm (total posts: 1)
29     29

Bengals just signed Donte Whitter to a 2 yr. deal. Good signing for a Zimmer defense. Likely means Roy Williams won't be resigned. Whitter is much the same style player, but 5 years younger.
Cowboys Fan 07-31-2011 12:45 pm (total posts: 1)
31     28

abram elam is 29, not 30.
nycsportzfan 07-27-2011 10:29 am (total posts: 1)
29     30

Walt, u know i love this site, but why in the Freaking Hell do u have DEON GRANT ranked 44th on your Saftey rankings? Dude, i tried using your rankings in a heated debate on the NYG MB, and they busted out your safety rankings to question your rankings in general!!! Dude, u got Joe Lefeged ahead of Deon Grant!!!!lol Deon Grant has been above AVG his entire Career and really a life saver for the GIants last yr...
Austin 06-27-2011 11:45 pm (total posts: 1)
29     31

@WalterFootball, you're football knowledge is questionable, at best.
@ Amir 05-08-2011 05:49 pm (total posts: 1)
31     30

Wait.. you're judging a safety on their stats? Wtf. So, because Nnamdi Asomugha did not have any interceptions, that makes him a bad cornerback?
sean 03-31-2011 03:50 am (total posts: 1)
31     30

the giants should give michael huff a shot at safety.If they sign him and Asomugha it will be a little harder to throw on those suspect dbs.
john 03-05-2011 01:54 pm (total posts: 1)
31     45


take Prince Akamura (CB) 1st round.
pick up Weddle (S) in free agency.
then take OTs, OGs, in 2nd and 3rd round.

grab dalton (QB) in the 4th round.
a power back in the 5th round.
and two more OL in the 6th and 7th.

and you are LOADED.
emabutaleb 03-03-2011 06:49 pm (total posts: 1)
29     31

Redskins signed S O.J. Atogwe to 5 year, $26 million deal.
Matty 02-27-2011 01:08 am (total posts: 1)
31     31

LOL, Bigby and Sanders have the same star rating.

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