2018 NFL Free Agents: Safeties

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2018 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2018.
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  1. Morgan Burnett, S, Packers. Age: 29.
    Signed with Steelers

    Green Bay’s defense has been atrocious in recent seasons, but don’t blame Morgan Burnett. The 29-year-old is the centerpiece of Green Bay’s defense, playing numerous positions. He should be able to perform on an extremely high level for at least three more years.

  2. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Rams. Age: 27.
    Franchised by Rams

    Lamarcus Joyner, a second-round pick in 2014, has improved each season in the NFL. He has evolved into one of the elite safeties in the NFL, and at just 27, he has at least five more terrific years remaining in his career.

  3. Tyrann Mathieu, S/CB, Cardinals. Age: 26.
    Signed with Texans (1 year)

    Wow, this is a stunner. The Cardinals wanted Tyrann Mathieu to take a pay cut, but when he wouldn’t budge, they just cut him. Mathieu was one of the top defensive players in the NFL in 2015, but tore his ACL. He struggled the following year because he returned way too early. He was better this past season, but not quite himself yet. There’s a very good chance, however, that Mathieu will finally be 100 percent in 2018, and if so, he’ll arguably be a top-five defensive back. Mathieu can play anywhere you ask him in the secondary, and he’ll turn only 26 in May, so he still has a very bright future ahead of him.

  4. Ricardo Allen (RFA), S, Falcons. Age: 26.
    Tendered by Falcons (2nd round)

    Ricardo Allen is a talented, well-rounded safety, and he won’t even turn 27 until December. He should have at least five more great years, so he’s due for a big contract next offseason.

  5. Kenny Vaccaro, S/CB, Saints. Age: 27.
    Signed with Titans

    Kenny Vaccaro was having a great year covering players in the slot, but suffered a groin injury in the middle of the season. He returned after a two-game absence, but struggled after that before landing on injured reserve.

  6. Eric Reid, S, 49ers. Age: 26.
    Signed with Panthers

    Eric Reid has missed 12 games in the past two seasons, but he’s too talented not to grade highly. Reid misses tackles, but happens to be excellent in coverage. He’s only 26, so there’s still lots of room for improvement.

  7. Tre Boston, S, Chargers. Age: 25.
    Signed with Cardinals

    Tre Boston was inconsistent in Carolina, so he signed a 1-year “prove it” deal with the Chargers last offseason. That definitely worked, as Boston had a strong 2017 campaign, earning himself some money. Boston missed some tackles, but was tremendous in coverage.

  8. Marcus Gilchrist, S, Texans. Age: 29.
    Signed with Raiders

    Marcus Gilchrist is coming off the best season of his career, which is a surprise because he tore his patellar tendon the prior December. Gilchrist could have a couple more solid years remaining in the tank if his knee issue doesn’t resurface.

  9. Tyvon Branch, S, Cardinals. Age: 31.
    Tyvon Branch was exceptional for the Cardinals in the first half of the season. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in early November. There’s a chance he could be ready for training camp, but he may not be completely healthy to start the season.

  10. Tavon Wilson, S, Lions. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Lions

    Tavon Wilson is coming off the worst season of his career, as he played through a horrible shoulder injury that definitely affected his play. Wilson is a talented safety, but has legitimate health concerns, as he’s missed 14 games in the past three years.

  11. George Iloka, S, Bengals. Age: 28.
    Signed with Vikings

    George Iloka was cut for salary reasons. He’s not a great safety by any means, but he’s a solid player. He’s a jack of all trades, master of none, as he’s not a liability in any regard.

  12. Cody Davis, S, Rams. Age: 29.
    Signed with Jaguars

    Cody Davis missed nine games this past season with a thigh injury. He’s solid in coverage, but misses too many tackles.

  13. Quintin Demps, S, Texans. Age: 33.
    Quintin Demps improved steadily prior to 2017, as he found a home in Houston. He left “home,” however, and struggled in Chicago. He was torched in three games before breaking his arm and landing on injured reseve. Demps could play better in 2018, but he’s 33 now, so the end of his career is approaching quickly.

  14. Bradley McDouglad, S, Seahawks. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Seahawks (3 years, $13.95 million)

    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.

  15. Kurt Coleman, S, Panthers. Age: 29.
    Signed with Saints (3 years, $18 million)

    Kurt Coleman was great for the Panthers during their run to the Super Bowl two years ago, but has struggled since. Still, he’s only turning 30 in April, so perhaps he can rebound and have another quality season for some other team.

  16. Mike Mitchell, S, Steelers. Age: 31.
    Signed with Colts

    Al Davis was laughed at for spending a second-round pick on Mike Mitchell in the 2009 NFL Draft, but Mitchell carved out a nice career for himself. Unfortunately for Mitchell, he’s now on the wrong side of 30, and his production has dropped recently.

  17. Reggie Nelson, S, Raiders. Age: 34.
    Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

    Reggie Nelson was once considered one of the top safeties in the NFL. He had many dominant seasons in Cincinnati. However, those days are long gone, as Nelson is now a liability in coverage. He turns 35 in September.

  18. Terrence Brooks, S, Jets. Age: 26.
    Re-signed with Jets (2 years)

    Terrence Brooks didn’t play much in 2017 because he was stuck behind Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. However, he’s a skilled safety who shined when he won AFC Defensive Player of the Week against the Dolphins in Week 3. He should get a shot at a starting gig in 2018.

  19. Ron Parker, S, Falcons. Age: 31.
    Ron Parker had a massive dropoff in production this past season, struggling in both pass coverage and run support. This was a surprise, as he played well in 2016. Perhaps he’ll rebound next year, but given that he’s 31 (in August), he could just be finished.

  20. Steven Terrell, S, Chiefs. Age: 27.
  21. Johnson Bademosi, S, Patriots. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Texans (2 years)
  22. Da’Norris Searcy, S, Titans. Age: 29. — Signed with Panthers (2 years)
  23. Will Gay, S, Steelers. Age: 33. — Signed with Giants
  24. Lardarius Webb, S, Ravens. Age: 32.
  25. Nate Ebner, S, Patriots. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Patriots
  26. Jairus Byrd, S, Panthers. Age: 31.
  27. Michael Thomas, S, Dolphins. Age: 28. — Signed with Giants
  28. J.J. Wilcox, S, Steelers. Age: 27. — Signed with 49ers
  29. Rafael Bush, S, Saints. Age: 31. — Signed with Bills (2 years)
  30. Eddie Pleasant, S, Texans. Age: 29.
  31. Adrian Phillips (RFA), S, Chargers. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Chargers
  32. Chris Prosinski, S, Bears. Age: 31.
  33. Darius Butler, S, Colts. Age: 32.
  34. Keith Tandy, S, Buccaneers. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Buccaneers (2 years)
  35. Nate Allen, S, Dolphins. Age: 30.
  36. Colt Anderson, S, Bills. Age: 32.
  37. Dewey McDonald (RFA), S, Seahawks. Age: 28.
  38. Nat Berhe, S, Giants. Age: 27. — Signed with Steelers
  39. Robert Golden, S, Chiefs. Age: 28.
  40. DeAngelo Hall, S, Redskins. Age: 34. — Announced retirement
  41. Don Carey, S, Lions. Age: 31. — Signed with Jaguars
  42. Keith McGill, S, Raiders. Age: 29.
  43. Shamarko Thomas, S, Bills. Age: 27. — Signed with Broncos
  44. Rontez Miles (RFA), S, Jets. Age: 29. — Tendered by Jets (original round
  45. Antone Exum, S, 49ers. Age: 27.
  46. Peyton Thompson (RFA), S, Jaguars. Age: 27.
  47. Brandon King (RFA), S, Patriots. Age: 25. — Re-signed with Patriots
  48. Curtis Riley (RFA), S, Titans. Age: 26.

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