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A quick look at upcoming FA Safeties


Rufus T Firefly

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I got the PFW Free Agency preview edition a few weeks ago and spent a good amount of time digesting it, as always. I have found their lists of who will be FAs to be much better than other online lists in the past, so I generally look forward to getting this issue. One of the things that jumped out at me was the quality and depth at the S position, which at the time didn't seem relevant to the Redskins, but I read these kinds of things thru a larger view than that. Of course, obviously and tragically, the people in this group of Safeties to the Redsins became much more relevant last week.

So, late last week I began to look at the list in more detail. I waited until today to post anything on it out of respect for Sean Taylor, but people are talking more and more about potential additions for next year (let's look at it as "who will play S for the Redskins?" rather than "Who will repace Taylor?" since he obviously can't be replaced).

So, here's my little breakdown of the top FAs to be at the position, in a general order of quality, but not strictly (in other words, it's pretty easy to figure some players being better than others, but I didn't spend much time thinking about whether player A was technically slightly better than player B, when those players are close);

Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Obviously the top guy in the group, but equally obviously will never hit the market. Probably tagged, but could get a long-term deal.

Eugene Wilson, New England Yes, he's helped by the sytem and talent in NE (who wouldn't be?), but still a quality player. He seems a bit slower than earlier in his career when he played a lot of CB and has had trouble staying healthy lately (11 games played the last two seasons). Generally, Patriots players only leave for huge paychecks so, with health concerns, probably not a good value.

Erik Coleman, NY Jets Underrated, good player against both the run and the pass. Smart, and hard-nosed. Numbers are down a bit this year after a concussion early in the year. I like this guy a lot, be interesting to see where his price tag ends up.

Madieu Williams, Cincinnati Another underrated player. Big in run support and solid in zone coverage, but not real good in man to man. As PFW noted, a bit of an off year for him, which they attribute mainly to him having to cover for his CBs more this year.

Gibril Wilson, NY Giants Pretty good all-around player, better in run support but OK in pass coverage. Fairly big hitter, but not really big enough to pack a wallop. Interesting that NY put a 2nd round tender on him last year, but no one bit on it. Makes one wonder about his percieved value around the league.

Ken Hamlin, Dallas Seemed to be developing into one of the better all-around Ss in the NFL with Seattle until the head injuries. Seems to have been solid in Dallas, but not spectacular. Obvious injury risks but a solid vet who's known as a leader.

Will Demps, Houston Big hitter and run support player. Not real strong in pass coverage, but not terrible. Signed late with Houston and hasn't made much of an impact, but seems to be coming on lately.

Yeremiah Bell, Miami Another solid if unspectacular player. Solid tackler, decent in zone coverage, not a huge hitter. Has been out for the year with an achilles injury, the status of which obviously determines whether he is worth a contract. Will be 30 in March which also makes him old for this group

Mike Doss, Minnesota More of a SS who's pretty weak in coverage. Has had trouble staying healthy.

Von Hutchins, Houston Sleeper. Played mainly CB earlier in career, but has played a lot of S this year and played well. Small (5-9) and definitely better in coverage than run support.

Other S UFAs of note (mainly depth-type players): Tank Williams, Minnesota; Nick Ferguson, Denver; Travares Tillman, Miami; Glenn Earl, Houston, Sammy Knight, Jacksonville; Marquand Manuel, Carolina; Keith Davis, Dallas; Matt Ware, Arizona; Gerome Sapp, Baltimore; Deke Cooper, Carolina; Chris Crocker, Atlant; Mel Mitchell, New England.

Just my thoughts, for what they're worth.

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Doss is a major liability in coverage in my opinion. Very slight upgrade to the coverage skills of Archuletta.

Agree, but with the downside of not being healthy. He might be a player you'd be interested in for close to the minimum as part of a rotation, but definitely not a guy you'd sign and say "we're all set at S now".

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I wouldn't spend a lot there for several reasons, including the money we're already paying at the S position... but there are some that I think would be a very good pickup for us in your list:

Madieu Williams - He's a very solid player who looks worse that he is because of Cincy's ineptness on defense. If he's not too expensive, then he'd be an excellent pickup. Good athlete and smart.

Ken Hamlin - If Dallas lets him go, I'd love to have him here. He is returning to the form he had before the head injuty and is having more and more of an impact as the season progresses. Plays center field well and will lay a hit down with the best of them. Very smart guy. Football smart. I seriously doubt Dallas lets him walk though. He's starting to play like a difference maker and he's tied for 3rd in the NFL in INT's.

I wanted to sign him and use the number 6 pick on DL... but that's another argument. I still wish we would have.

Finally,

Yeremiah Bell - Was starting to become a very good player in Miami prior to his injury. How he recovers from his achillies will of course, mean everything. Because of the injury we might could get him on the cheap... but there's always the chance of it being wasted money because you just don't know how he'll recover. Most players who successfully return from an achillies injury are more of the bigger DT/DE type who didn't have too much speed to begin with. Bell having to backpedal would worry me.

Anyway, those three would be good options to look at, IMO. Williams and Hamilin would be my favorites, but who knows how much they'll cost or if they'll be available.

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I think the team should pass on bringing in another safety and move Springs to that position for a year.

Then, in 2009, Taylor Mays will declare for the draft and we can grab him.

:)

I would be seriously fine with moving Springs (if he'd do it) and getting another CB.

That would be done (Springs retired or cut) in a year or so though. With Williams or Hamlin we would be set long-term at S.

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I wouldn't spend a lot there for several reasons, including the money we're already paying at the S position... but there are some that I think would be a very good pickup for us in your list:

Madieu Williams - He's a very solid player who looks worse that he is because of Cincy's ineptness on defense. If he's not too expensive, then he'd be an excellent pickup. Good athlete and smart.

Ken Hamlin - If Dallas lets him go, I'd love to have him here. He is returning to the form he had before the head injuty and is having more and more of an impact as the season progresses. Plays center field well and will lay a hit down with the best of them. Very smart guy. Football smart. I seriously doubt Dallas lets him walk though. He's starting to play like a difference maker and he's tied for 3rd in the NFL in INT's.

I wanted to sign him and use the number 6 pick on DL... but that's another argument. I still wish we would have.

Finally,

Yeremiah Bell - Was starting to become a very good player in Miami prior to his injury. How he recovers from his achillies will of course, mean everything. Because of the injury we might could get him on the cheap... but there's always the chance of it being wasted money because you just don't know how he'll recover. Most players who successfully return from an achillies injury are more of the bigger DT/DE type who didn't have too much speed to begin with. Bell having to backpedal would worry me.

Anyway, those three would be good options to look at, IMO. Williams and Hamilin would be my favorites, but who knows how much they'll cost or if they'll be available.

With Bell you would obviously need to see him show signs of recovery, and also get him signed to a cheaper deal, which could make him a good value signing. I have no idea how he's recovering, but he's worth monitoring at least.

My main thought would be with such a deep group (asuming too many aren't re-signed before the FA period), the smart play is usually to wait a week or two into the signing period and see who has fallen thru the cracks a little and can be had for less money. Basic supply and demand.

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I wouldn't spend a lot there for several reasons, including the money we're already paying at the S position... but there are some that I think would be a very good pickup for us in your list:

Madieu Williams - He's a very solid player who looks worse that he is because of Cincy's ineptness on defense. If he's not too expensive, then he'd be an excellent pickup. Good athlete and smart.

Ken Hamlin - If Dallas lets him go, I'd love to have him here. He is returning to the form he had before the head injuty and is having more and more of an impact as the season progresses. Plays center field well and will lay a hit down with the best of them. Very smart guy. Football smart. I seriously doubt Dallas lets him walk though. He's starting to play like a difference maker and he's tied for 3rd in the NFL in INT's.

I wanted to sign him and use the number 6 pick on DL... but that's another argument. I still wish we would have.

Finally,

Yeremiah Bell - Was starting to become a very good player in Miami prior to his injury. How he recovers from his achillies will of course, mean everything. Because of the injury we might could get him on the cheap... but there's always the chance of it being wasted money because you just don't know how he'll recover. Most players who successfully return from an achillies injury are more of the bigger DT/DE type who didn't have too much speed to begin with. Bell having to backpedal would worry me.

Anyway, those three would be good options to look at, IMO. Williams and Hamilin would be my favorites, but who knows how much they'll cost or if they'll be available.

I agree with Hamlin, Doss, and Williams as possibilities. Assuming we don't someone on the roster to groom for the poistion (Is Eubanks a safety?)

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I hope Reed Doughty grows into an excellent safety for us. I say give him a fair chance. He's not top notch, but he'll get there with time and experience. But I wouldn't mind seeing Bob Sanders or Mike Doss in a Redskins uniform.

Of course, we have a few games to see what Doughty can do. I'm not too optimistic, but maybe he can show something. Which is where the names lower on the list could come in, to share time with him. Like if Reed looks solid in run support, but not so good in coverage, you might look at a guy lik Von Hutchins, etc.

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I hope Reed Doughty grows into an excellent safety for us. I say give him a fair chance. He's not top notch, but he'll get there with time and experience. But I wouldn't mind seeing Bob Sanders or Mike Doss in a Redskins uniform.

I think he has been adequete so far. Sure, he is not lights out but he is a solid tackler, most of the time, and considering you now have two "rook" safeties ( as far as playing time ) they are decent. Overpaying for a FA safety is a waste of money in my opinion. First, they would always be compared to ST and would never match up. Second, we lost games even with ST in their because of this teams weaknesses. Let us address those before signing another safety. Please? :whoknows:

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Isn't there a Safety from Miami? (Yeah, I know).

(5 min later)....they have the Texans taking this guy with the 12th overall.

KENNY PHILLIPS

S | Miami (FL) | Scouting Report

As usual the Texans still have a gaping hole at left tackle but with both Jake Long and Ryan Clady off the board there isn't much value left and they would probably be better off waiting until later to upgrade there. Instead Houston turns their attention to a needy secondary and brings in the first true playmaking safety in the history of the franchise. The Hurricanes have a great track record when it comes to producing pro defensive backs throughout the years and even though he may not be in quite the same class as Sean Taylor or Ed Reed Kenny Phillips can be a difference maker

http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/sub/mockdraft.html

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Sean believed in Reed Dougty. And for that, I will believe in him as well, until he shows he can't perform to reasonable expectations.

Although, I personally am for the idea of converting LaRon back into a FS next season, and putting Doughty as SS.

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