2016 NFL Free Agents: Safeties

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2016 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2016.
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  1. Eric Berry, S, Chiefs. Age: 27.
    Franchised by Chiefs

    Arguably the No. 1 overall free agent this spring, Eric Berry returned from cancer to serve as one of the top safeties in the NFL. He could be even better next year after having an entire offseason of practice time.

  2. Eric Weddle, S, Chargers. Age: 31.
    Signed with Ravens (4 years, $26 million)

    Eric Weddle isn’t coming off his best season, as he was hindered with some injuries throughout the 2015 campaign. However, he’s still one of the top safeties in the NFL. Weddle, who turned 31 on Jan. 4, should still be able to play on a high level for three or four more seasons, as safeties tend to perform well into their mid-30s.

  3. George Iloka, S, Bengals. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Bengals (5 years, $30 million)

    George Iloka had been better in run support than coverage heading into 2015, but he has show major improvement in the latter this season. He’ll be only 26 in March, so he still has plenty of room for growth.

  4. Tashaun Gipson, S, Browns. Age: 26.
    Signed with Jaguars

    Normally one of the NFL’s better safeties, Tashaun Gipson was hindered by an ankle injury all year. He struggled as a consequence, but should be able to rebound in 2016. He’ll turn just 26 in August.

  5. Reggie Nelson, S, Bengals. Age: 32.
    Signed with Raiders

    Reggie Nelson has been a terrific coverage safety for a long time. He’ll turn 33 in September, but safeties can play longer than most positions, so he should be fine for a few more seasons.

  6. Walter Thurmond, S, Eagles. Age: 29.
    Announced retirement

    Walter Thurmond told the media that he doesn’t believe he’ll be back in Philadelphia next season because the team has “only $17 million in cap space.” It’s great that Thurmond thinks so highly of himself, and he did play extremely well in 2015, but he has a poor injury history that can’t be ignored. He’d have a higher rating if it wasn’t for that.

  7. Rodney McLeod, S, Rams. Age: 26.
    Signed with Eagles (5 years, $37 million)

    Rodney McLeod was solid but unspectacular in 2014, but made big improvements to his game last season. McLeod was excellent, showing no weaknesses.

  8. Isa Abdul-Quddus, S, Lions. Age: 27.
    Signed with Dolphins (3 years, $12.75 million)

    One of the reasons Detroit improved late in the year was Isa Abdul-Quddus replacing James Ihedigbo in the lineup. Abdul-Quddus was solid in coverage and thrived in run support.

  9. Husain Abdullah, S, Chiefs. Age: 31.
    Announced retirement

    Husain Abdullah is on the wrong side of 30, but he had a strong year in 2015 – at least until Week 12, when he went out for the remainder of the regular season with a concussion.

  10. Donte Whitner, S, Browns. Age: 31.
    Signed with Redskins

    Donte Whitner played well this past season, particularly in terms of coverage. However, the Browns are starting over, so they felt as though saving $4 million against the cap would be important. The Browns will miss his play, though it’s possible that as a 31-year-old, Whitner would be set to decline soon.

  11. Will Hill, S, Ravens. Age: 26.
    Baltimore releasing Will Hill is quite confusing. He was the team’s top defensive back in 2015, playing safety extremely effectively. He’s also just 26, so he has a bright future ahead of him if he stays clean. Hill’s off-the-field antics are the only reason he’s not a four-star free agent, but he’s well worth the risk if signed somewhat cheaply. Update: Hill has been suspended for 10 games, which would explain why Baltimore cut ties with him.

  12. Rashad Johnson, S, Cardinals. Age: 30.
    Signed with Titans (1 year)

    Rashad Johnson can be a liability in run support, but his solid coverage skills make up for it. He just turned 30, but should be able to play well for the next few seasons.

  13. Tyvon Branch, S, Chiefs. Age: 29.
    Signed with Cardinals (2 years, $10 million)

    Tyvon Branch was the third safety on Kansas City’s roster, but he could’ve started on a full-time basis for most other teams. Branch saw extensive action in the wake of Husain Abdullah’s concussion.

  14. Chris Conte, S, Buccaneers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Buccaneers (1 year)

    Chicago fans grew tired of Chris Conte’s incompetence, but Conte actually played somewhat well in his first season with the Buccaneers. He was probably their top defensive back, but I don’t trust him very much going forward.

  15. Bacarri Rambo (RFA), S, Bills. Age: 26.
    Bacarri Rambo had some great moments in 2015. However, he also was guilty of some dud performances. He’ll need to be more consistent going forward, but he has plenty of time, given that he’ll be just 26 in June.

  16. Tony Jefferson (RFA), S, Cardinals. Age: 24.
    Tendered by Cardinals

    Tony Jefferson saw increased snaps in the wake of Tyrann Mathieu’s injury. Jefferson took advantage of them, playing well against both the pass and run.

  17. Louis Delmas, S, Dolphins. Age: 29.
    Louis Delmas is very talented, but he just can’t stay healthy. He missed all of 2015 after tearing his ACL twice since December 2014. Delmas has played just one full season in his career. He’s just not reliable.

  18. Quintin Demps, S, Texans. Age: 31.
    Re-signed with Texans

    The Texans didn’t have much at safety last year, so they ended up starting Quintin Demps by default. Demps wasn’t bad, as he was fine in coverage, but he was brutal in run support.

  19. Will Allen, S, Steelers. Age: 34.
    Will Allen’s coverage skills have declined recently. The fact that he turns 34 in June is not good news.

  20. Robert Golden, S, Steelers. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Steelers (3 years, $5 million)

    Robert Golden ha some potential. He looked good when replacing Will Allen for a few games in October. He shined particularly in run support.

  21. Jahleel Addae (RFA), S, Chargers. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Chargers

    Jahleel Addae might actually be a half-decent player if he only cooled it down with his stupid personal-foul penalties, which he seems to commit twice per game.

  22. Rahim Moore, S, Texans. Age: 26.
    Signed with Browns

    Rahim Moore used to be a solid player, but he nearly lost his leg two years ago because of lateral compartment syndrome. He hasn’t looked like the same player since. However, he’s still young (just turned 26), so he deserves one more chance. He’ll have to sign a 1-year “prove it” deal.

  23. Dashon Goldson, S, Redskins. Age: 31.
    Dashon Goldson was a somewhat decent, but overrated safety when he was with the 49ers earlier in his career. The Buccaneers and Redskins clearly didn’t watch his tape because they spent major resources keeping him on the roster. Goldson predictably disappointed. Now 31, Goldson isn’t much more than a spot starter/quality backup.

  24. Antrel Rolle, S, Bears. Age: 33.
    Antrel Rolle was just average this past season for the Bears. He can still be a solid backup, but at 33, his best days are well behind him.

  25. William Moore, S, Falcons. Age: 31.
    William Moore used to be a solid player, but injuries have sapped him of his talent. He has missed 14 games the past two years and has played in all 16 contests just twice in his career. Perhaps he can get healthy and bounce back, but that’s not very likely.

  26. David Bruton, S, Broncos. Age: 29. — Signed with Redskins (3 years)
  27. Dwight Lowery, S, Colts. Age: 30. — Signed with Chargers (3 years)
  28. Colt Anderson, S, Colts. Age: 30. — Signed with Bills
  29. Andrew Sendejo, S, Vikings. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Vikings (4 years, $14 million)
  30. Duke Ihenacho (RFA), S, Redskins. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)
  31. Josh Bush, S, Broncos. Age: 27.
  32. Trenton Robinson, S, Redskins. Age: 27. — Signed with Panthers
  33. James Ihedigbo, S, Lions. Age: 32.
  34. Robert Blanton, S, Vikings. Age: 26. — Signed with Bills
  35. Larry Asante, S, Raiders. Age: 28.
  36. Jamarca Sanford, S, Saints. Age: 31. — Re-signed with Saints
  37. Michael Griffin, S, Titans. Age: 31. — Signed with Panthers
  38. Keith Tandy, S, Buccaneers. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Buccaneers
  39. Ryan Mundy, S, Bears. Age: 31.
  40. Johnson Bademosi, S/ST, Browns. Age: 26. — Signed with Lions
  41. Rafael Bush, S, Saints. Age: 29. — Signed with Lions (1 year)
  42. Eddie Pleasant (RFA), S, Texans. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Texans (2 years)
  43. Neiko Thorpe (RFA), S, Raiders. Age: 28. — Tendered by Raiders (2nd)
  44. Sergio Brown, S, Jaguars. Age: 28. — Signed with Falcons
  45. Sean Richardson, S, Packers. Age: 26.
  46. Jeff Heath (RFA), S, Cowboys. Age: 25. — Re-signed with Cowboys
  47. Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Jets. Age: 26.
  48. Omar Bolden, S, Broncos. Age: 27. — Signed with Bears
  49. Corey White, S, Cardinals. Age: 26. — Signed with Bills
  50. Jeron Johnson, S, Redskins. Age: 28. — Signed with Chiefs
  51. Brandon Meriweather, S, Giants. Age: 32.
  52. Antonio Allen, S, Jets. Age: 27. — Signed with Jets
  53. Nate Allen, S, Raiders. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Raiders
  54. Nate Ebner, S, Patriots. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Patriots (2 years)
  55. Cody Davis (RFA), S, Rams. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Rams (2 years)
  56. Brynden Trawick (RFA), S, Ravens. Age: 26. — Signed with Raiders
  57. Danny McCray, S, Cowboys. Age: 28.
  58. Jordan Kovacs (RFA), S, Chiefs. Age: 26.

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