2017 NFL Free Agents: Safeties

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2017 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2017.
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  1. Eric Berry, S, Chiefs. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Chiefs (6 years, $78 million)

    It’s astonishing that just recently, Eric Berry was battling for his life against cancer. Now, he’s one of the top safeties in the NFL. Berry should continue to perform at an All-Pro level for at least four more years, as he just turned 28.

  2. John Cyprien, S, Jaguars. Age: 27.
    Signed with Titans

    John Cyprien was a second-round pick in 2013 who had failed to live up to his billing – until this past season. Cyprien had an incredible 2016 campaign, as he performed as one of the top safeties in the NFL. Just 27 in July, Cyprien is going to receive a big contract if he’s allowed to hit free agency.

  3. Tony Jefferson, S, Cardinals. Age: 25.
    Signed with Ravens

    Tony Jefferson evolved into one of the better safeties in the NFL last season. Given that, as well as the fact that he turns just 25 at the end of January, Jefferson could be offered a huge contract this offseason. The only thing I’d worry about is that Jefferson is a bit of a one-year wonder.

  4. Barry Church, S, Cowboys. Age: 29.
    Signed with Jaguars

    Barry Church had always been an above-average starting safety, but not in 2016. He was outstanding this past season in all regards. He did miss four games with an arm injury, but was excellent when on the field. This could’ve been a fluky year, so I’m hesitant to give him four stars, but he certainly performed like a four-star free agent.

  5. Ricardo Allen (RFA), S, Falcons. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Falcons (1 year)

    Ricardo Allen was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but he has evolved into a very skilled starting safety. He missed some tackles this past season, but was very good in coverage.

  6. T.J. McDonald, S, Rams. Age: 26.
    Signed with Dolphins (1 year)

    T.J. McDonald had a rough offseason leading into 2016, coming off shoulder surgery and then being arrested for a DUI. However, none of this affected his play this season, as McDonald put together another decent campaign.

  7. Micah Hyde, S/CB/KR, Packers. Age: 26.
    Signed with Bills

    Micah Hyde, a solid return specialist, is very good in run support, but could stand to improve as a coverage safety/nickel corner. He won’t be 27 until New Year’s Eve, so he’ll have plenty of time to improve that facet of his game.

  8. Mike Adams, S, Colts. Age: 36.
    Signed with Panthers (2 years)

    Mike Adams has played on a very high level for a long time, and this includes this past season. Adams, however, turns 36 in March, so he could begin to decline as soon as this upcoming year.

  9. Jahleel Addae, S, Chargers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Chargers

    Jahleel Addae missed half the season in 2016 because of a broken collarbone, but he has played very well since his return. Addae has a history of being flagged for too many penalties, but has performed well when under control.

  10. Isa Abdul-Quddus, S, Dolphins. Age: 28.
    Isa Abdul-Quddus is a terrific safety when healthy, but the Dolphins cut him for medical reasons. He has a nerve problem in his neck and may not be cleared anytime soon.

  11. D.J. Swearinger, S, Cardinals. Age: 26.
    Signed wih Redskins (3 years, $13.5 million)

    The Texans gave up on D.J. Swearinger after spending a second-round pick on him back in 2013. Perhaps they did so prematurely, as Swearinger performed well for the Cardinals in 2016. He missed some tackles, but was generally decent in coverage.

  12. Bradley McDouglad, S, Buccaneers. Age: 26.
    Signed with Seahawks

    Bradley McDouglad is solid in run support, but could stand to improve in coverage. Still, he’s not a liability, and he makes for a fine starting safety.

  13. J.J. Wilcox, S, Cowboys. Age: 26.
    Signed with Buccaneers (2 years)

    J.J. Wilcox played well after struggling for several seasons, though he missed four games with a thigh injury. He missed some tackles, but did well in coverage. Wilcox is just 26 in February and could continue to play well.

  14. Quintin Demps, S, Texans. Age: 32.
    Signed with Bears (3 years, $13.5 million)

    Quintin Demps has improved steadily over the past couple of years. He was a journeyman for a while, but he found a home in Houston. He’s coming off a great year, but he turns 32 in June, so a decline could be coming soon.

  15. T.J. Ward, S, Broncos. Age: 30.
    Signed with Buccaneers

    T.J. Ward has taken a step backward now that he’s in his 30s – he turns 31 in December – but he’s still a solid player. He plays the run extremely well, but happens to be suspect in coverage. The Broncos cut him to save $4.5 million in cap room, so Ward should sign with a team soon.

  16. Lardarius Webb, S, Ravens. Age: 31.
    A former cornerback, Lardarius Webb transitioned to safety last year and did well at his new position. However, Webb became expendable when the Ravens signed Tony Jefferson to pair with Eric Weddle. Webb can still be a solid starter, but he turns 32 in October, so his best days are behind him.

  17. Corey Graham, S, Bills. Age: 32.
    Signed with Eagles

    A former cornerback, Corey Graham has played well at safety in recent years, but he was expendable once Buffalo signed Micah Hyde to a big contract. Graham, 32 in July, is on the decline, but can still be a capable starter.

  18. Jairus Byrd, S, Saints. Age: 30.
    Signed with Panthers

    The Saints made Jairus Byrd the highest-paid safety in the NFL in 2014 when he signed a $54 million contract. Byrd was awful for the most part, and he was ultimately benched this past season. Byrd is very talented and could rebound if motivated. Perhaps getting benched and released will serve as a wake-up call.

  19. Tre Boston, S, Panthers. Age: 25.
    Signed with Chargers

    It’s pretty confusing as to why the Panthers waived Tre Boston. He’s a solid player who is only 25 (as of June). Any team with a safety need should be interested. Some of those teams include the Bears, 49ers, Chargers and Texans.

  20. Dwight Lowery, S, Chargers. Age: 31.
    Dwight Lowery is a poor tackler, but he’s still solid in coverage. He turned 31 this offseason, so his best days are behind him, but Lowery could still serve as a half-decent starter for a team in desperate need of safety help.

  21. Steven Terrell (RFA), S, Seahawks. Age: 26.
    Signed with Chiefs

    Steven Terrell started in place of Earl Thomas late in the year. Terrell obviously wasn’t as good as Thomas, but he held his own, doing a very good job in run support.

  22. Duron Harmon, S, Patriots. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Patriots (4 yars, $17 million)

    Duron Harmon, a former third-round pick, plays in the nickel and does a solid job. He’s stuck behind Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, however, so he could start for some other team.

  23. Daniel Sorensen (RFA), S, Chiefs. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Chiefs

    Daniel Sorensen played about half the snaps for the Chiefs this past season, but only because he was behind Eric Berry and Ron Parker on the depth chart. Sorensen, who is a very good cover safety, wouldn’t be a bad starter on some team.

  24. Rashad Johnson, S, Titans. Age: 31.
    Rashad Johnson can be a liability in run support, but his solid coverage skills make up for it. He just turned 31, however, so he doesn’t have much time remaining.

  25. Kendrick Lewis, S, Ravens. Age: 29.
    Kendrick Lewis has dealt with numerous leg injuries over the past two years, but when he’s healthy, he can play somewhat well.

  26. Antoine Bethea, S, 49ers. Age: 33.
    Signed with Cardinals (3 years)

    Antoine Bethea used to be a talented player, but he has declined in recent years. The 49ers decided he wasn’t worth the $5.75 million cap hit, and they’re right. Bethea can still tackle well and not be a liability in run support, but he struggles to cover at this stage of his career.

  27. Matt Elam, S, Ravens. Age: 26.
  28. Jordan Poyer, S, Browns. Age: 26. — Signed with Bills
  29. Kemal Ishmael, S, Falcons. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Falcons
  30. Will Hill, S, Ravens. Age: 27.
  31. Will Blackmon, S, Redskins. Age: 32.
  32. Daimion Stafford, S, Titans. Age: 26.
  33. Rafael Bush, S, Lions. Age: 26. — Signed with Saints
  34. Duke Ihenacho, S, Redskins. Age: 28. — Signed with Giants
  35. Nate Allen, S, Raiders. Age: 29. — Signed with Dolphins (1 year)
  36. Michael Thomas (RFA), S, Dolphins. Age: 27. — Tendered by Dolphins
  37. Roman Harper, S, Saints. Age: 34.
  38. Donte Whitner, S, Redskins. Age: 32.
  39. Jamarca Sanford, S, Saints. Age: 32.
  40. Colin Jones, S/ST, Panthers. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Panthers
  41. Chris Prosinski, S, Bears. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Bears
  42. Anthony Levine, S, Ravens. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Ravens
  43. Chris Conte, S, Buccaneers. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Buccaneers (2 years)
  44. Robert Blanton, S, Cowboys. Age: 27.
  45. Brynden Trawick, S/ST, Raiders. Age: 27. — Signed with Titans
  46. Shamarko Thomas, S, Steelers. Age: 26. — Signed with Jets
  47. Shiloh Keo, S, Saints. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Saints (1 year)
  48. Marcus Gilchrist, S, Jets. Age: 28.

  49. Colt Anderson, S/ST, Bills. Age: 31. — Re-signed with Bills
  50. Duke Williams, S, Colts. Age: 26.
  51. Dashon Goldson, S, Falcons. Age: 32.
  52. Brandon King (RFA), S, Patriots. Age: 24.
  53. Josh Evans, S, Redskins. Age: 26.
  54. Michael Griffin, S, Panthers. Age: 32.
  55. Brandon Browner, S, Seahawks. Age: 33.
  56. Chris Banjo (RFA), S, Saints. Age: 27.
  57. Jonathan Meeks, S, Bills. Age: 31.
  58. William Moore, S, Falcons. Age: 32.
  59. Dewey McDonald (RFA), S, Seahawks. Age: 27.
  60. Josh Bush, S, Broncos. Age: 28.
  61. Phillip Thomas, S, Bills. Age: 28.
  62. Don Jones, S, Texans. Age: 27. — Signed with 49ers

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