With the legal tampering period starting Monday (and players allowed to start officially signing on Wednesday), a look at the impact free agents available at each position on offense and defense. Check back for updates. All players listead with ages as of May 1.
Nick Foles (30), Philadelphia (UPDATE: Foles has signed with Jacksonville)
He’s the most difficult guy to rank because you must decide how the value of an average QB compares to the value of a great defensive playmaker. And you also must decide whether he is an average QB. There are arguments for him being much more and much less than that.
Blake Bortles (27), Jacksonville
Let’s not forget he had a serviceable playoff run in 2017 and was minutes from helping Jacksonville to a Super Bowl appearance. Is he flawed? Absolutely. Inconsistent? Of course. But it’s not like you can’t still run a professional offense with him, especially if it’s driven by play-action. He can be a quality backup.
Tyrod Taylor (29), Cleveland (UPDATE: Taylor has signed with the Chargers)
His dropback passing limitations constrict his team’s offense, but his scrambling can jolt that same offense. Many teams are comfortable with that profile for their backup QB.
Trevor Siemian (27), Minnesota
Most coaches want a backup QB who will follow the play’s design. Siemian, though meager-armed and only a so-so field reader, can deliver, especially in a passing game that’s built off zone run action.
Teddy Bridgewater (26), New Orleans (UPDATE: Bridgewater has re-signed with New Orleans)
He’s a meager-armed thrower who has been limited to only one start—last year’s meaningless regular-season finale for the Saints—since 2015. Can he be a quality long-term backup?
Tevin Coleman (26), Atlanta (UPDATE: Coleman has signed with San Francisco)
He’s a less patient but more explosive Le’Veon Bell. Coleman must play in an outside zone running scheme that encourages him to attack the perimeter—which, thanks to deceptive, long-striding speed, Coleman does better than anyone. He is also a superior passing game weapon than some teams’ No. 3 receiver, with the flexibility to align out wide or in the slot.
Le’Veon Bell (27), Pittsburgh (UPDATE: Bell has signed with the Jets)
His unique running style and multidimensional skill set still make him elite, but mild off-field concerns and average top-end speed are legitimate marks against giving him the type of deal he sought during his 2018 holdout.
Mark Ingram (29), New Orleans (UPDATE: Ingram has signed with Baltimore)
He has shared snaps with others throughout his career, making his 29 years of age less concerning than with most running backs. He’s also a sneakily effective backfield receiver and a highly professional base-down runner who consistently gets the yards that are blocked and then some.
C.J. Anderson (28), L.A. Rams
He proved down the stretch in L.A. that he’s a perfect fit in a sustaining outside zone-based offense. He’s not a threatening receiver, but acute blocking awareness makes him viable in third-down packages for teams that like to use six blockers in pass protection.
Carlos Hyde (28), Jacksonville (UPDATE: Hyde has signed with Kansas City)
He’s a capable three-down contributor who is both a tick more agile and powerful than you’d expect. The Jags will regret choosing Leonard Fournette over him.
Jay Ajayi (25), Philadelphia
He’s hard to tackle when he’s playing well. The question is whether he still can after tearing his ACL last October.
Adrian Peterson (34), Washington (UPDATE: Peterson has re-signed with Washington)
He was an outstanding first- and second-down back in Washington, particularly on zone runs between the tackles. He no longer possesses breakaway speed, but still has terrific lateral burst and finishing power.
Tyrell Williams (27), L.A. Chargers (UPDATE: Williams has signed with Oakland)
His long frame lends to a large catch radius and rangy downfield speed. He’s not always the most reliable route runner, though he’s certainly better now than he was early in his career.
Jamison Crowder (25), Washington (UPDATE: Crowder has signed with the Jets)
Few players offer such acute body control on underneath routes. He can win 1-on-1 or as a puzzle piece in a larger multi-receiver design.
Golden Tate (30), Philadelphia
He’s at his best inside, but can also be productive outside, especially in a system that features quick throws and stack/bunch receiver alignments.
Randall Cobb (28), Green Bay
In 2014, he had 1,287 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns and we buckled up for his ride to greatness. But that year was the outlier—in his other seven seasons he has battled injuries and averaged 605 yards.
Breshad Perriman (25), Cleveland (UPDATE: Perriman has signed with Tampa Bay)
A first-round bust in Baltimore, last year in Cleveland he figured out how to win on intermediate and perimeter routes. He can be an effective No. 3 in a deeper dropback passing game.
Dontrelle Inman (30), Indianapolis
He has long been one of football’s sharpest route runners. It makes no sense that he’s been a fringe journeyman—he’d be an upgrade at No. 2 receiver for several teams.
Cole Beasley (30), Dallas (UPDATE: Beasley has signed with Buffalo)
He’s a premiere underneath option-route runner. He can win inside out of spread formations (like in Dallas) and he would be good in highly schemed offenses that features stack releases (like what you see from New England, Washington, etc.).
John Brown (29), Baltimore (UPDATE: Brown has signed with Buffalo)
His top-end speed makes him best suited for a specialized deep threat role off the bench, though he has the quickness and body control to run more than just Go routes.
Jermaine Kearse (29), N.Y. Jets
He’s a fast-learner who can play the slot or outside. He’ll always be about 20% better than opponents expect.
Danny Amendola (33), Miami (UPDATE: Amendola has signed with Detroit)
If you’re a contender that needs a rotational No. 2 spot or slot position instantly stabilized, meet your perfect one-year deal candidate.
DeVante Parker (26), Miami (UPDATE: Parker has re-signed with Miami)
Has the desirable frame and talent, and the flashes he’s shown have been tantalizing. Consistency is the question.
Pierre Garcon (32), San Francisco
He’s in decline, but can survive another year or two on detailed route running and strong contested catch ability.
Demaryius Thomas (31), Houston
He was not in serious decline last year, though his late-season Achilles injury really complicates matters. The best-case scenario: He becomes a viable No. 2 in a highly schemed offense.
Chris Hogan (30), New England
He’s not quite the vertical weapon in 2018 that he’d been in previous years, but still understands the details of playing wide receiver. He’s at his best in a highly schemed passing game.
Devin Funchess (24), Carolina (UPDATE: Funchess has signed with Indianapolis)
He’s a big-frame possession target who showed improvements on in-breaking routes, but his dropping off the face of the Earth in the second half of last season raises all sorts of red flags.
Donte Moncrief (25), Jacksonville
His “good” can look very nice, especially on routes outside the field numbers, but you don’t see that “good” often enough.
Tavon Austin (28), Dallas
The rise of jet-sweeps should augment his value. Think of him not as a miscast wide receiver but more as another Theo Riddick.
Adam Humphries (25), Tampa Bay (UPDATE: Humphries has signed with Tennessee)
Serviceable slot receiver who can redirect off short-area movement and win on crossing patterns.
Jared Cook (32), Oakland
He’s at his best as a detached receiver by himself on the weak side of the formation. Not every team uses its tight end like this, but the ones that do tend to flourish.
Demetrius Harris (27), Kansas City (UPDATE: Harris has signed with Cleveland)
He’s a three-down player who can align almost anywhere in the formation. He was understandably overshadowed by Travis Kelce in Kansas City but can be a 55-catch contributor as someone’s No. 1 tight end.
Jesse James (24), Pittsburgh (UPDATE: James has signed with Detroit)
His moderately smooth athleticism makes him a solid No. 2 receiving tight end.
Tyler Eifert (28), Cincinnati
His injury woes obviously make him a major risk, but if he can somehow be the receiver he was when healthy, he changes the face of your offense.
Ryan Hewitt (28), Indianapolis
Any team willing to commit to a two-back ground game (and more should) must look closely at the former Bengal/Colt. He’s a very movable piece in your run-blocking structures.
Charles Clay (30), Buffalo (UPDATE: Clay has signed with Arizona)
Versatility as a receiver and blocker would make him an excellent No. 2 in an expansive system that’s headed by a sharp quarterback.
Trent Brown (26), New England (UPDATE: Brown has signed with Oakland)
The NFL’s largest man moves better than most left tackles, in both the run game and pass game.
Donovan Smith (25), Tampa Bay (UPDATE: Smith has re-signed with Tampa)
He has quietly improved each year. He’s not quite athletic enough to dominate, but when he wins off the snap, he’s almost guaranteed to win the entire down.
Daryl Williams (26), Carolina (UPDATE: Williams has re-signed with Carolina)
He’s coming off a major knee injury. When healthy, he often went unnoticed in Carolina, which is not a negative for a right tackle (especially in the passing game).
Ja’Wuan James (26), Miami (UPDATE: James has signed with Denver)
Miami never quite trusted him, but he’d be an upgrade at right tackle for about half the league’s teams.
Jared Veldheer (31), Denver
The long-armed veteran has missed 15 games over the last three years and isn’t always sound in pass protection, but he’s not someone you must constantly hide and help in your scheme.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Mitch Morse (27), Kansas City (UPDATE: Morse has signed with Buffalo)
Few things bring dimension to an offense like injecting mobility at center. A guy like Morse can expand your running game and backfield screen game.
Rodger Saffold (30), L.A. Rams (UPDATE: Saffold has signed with Tennessee)
Like the Rams’ entire offensive line, he was better in the first three quarters of last season than he was down the stretch. That will concern some teams given that he turns 31 in June. Smart teams will still pursue Saffold—with more high-level defensive tackles than ever, strong guard play has become critical.
Matt Paradis (29), Denver (UPDATE: Paradis has signed with Carolina)
He’s a stabilizer who can win with short-area quickness, but wear-and-tear was a concern even before the veteran center fractured his fibula last November.
Quinton Spain (27), Tennessee
He’s inconsistent, but when he’s on, he plays with one of football’s best blends of power and athleticism.
T.J. Lang (31), Detroit
He’s rock-solid in all phases—when healthy. But he has missed 16 games over the last three years.
Jamon Brown (26), N.Y. Giants (UPDATE: Brown signed with Atlanta)
He’s a strong-hand enforcer who can move the line of scrimmage.
James Carpenter (30), N.Y. Jets (UPDATE: Carpenter has signed with Atlanta)
He’s constricted mostly to north-south movement, which makes him suited for an inside zone-based ground game that features straight double-team blocks.
A.J. Cann (27), G, Jacksonville (UPDATE: Cann has re-signed with Jacksonville)
See “James Carpenter” and magnify the limitations by, say, 15%.
DeMarcus Lawrence (27), Dallas (UPDATE: Cowboys have franchise-tagged Lawrence)
A productive pass rusher who is even better in run defense, all thanks to his ability to play low and move laterally. (His incessant motor also helps.)
Jadeveon Clowney (26), Houston (UPDATE: Texans have franchise-tagged Clowney)
He doesn’t have the pliability to bend the edge, which is why he’s never recorded a double-digit sack season. But his sheer explosiveness is off the charts, which is why his run-defending numbers are, too.
Frank Clark (25), Seattle (UPDATE: Seahawks have franchise-tagged Clark)
He might be football’s quickest off-the-snap mover, and his ability to change directions so fluidly makes him lethal in most schemed pressure designs.
Trey Flowers (25), New England (UPDATE: Flowers has signed with Detroit)
He’s arguably football’s most mechanically sound defensive lineman, which buttresses his versatility.
Dee Ford (28), Kansas City (UPDATE: Ford was franchise-tagged and then traded to San Francisco)
His compelling combination of burst, speed and leverage make him the type of force you must assume will wreck two or three plays a game.
Brandon Graham (31), Philadelphia (UPDATE: Graham re-signed with Philadelphia)
He’s an explosive and sound low-to-the-ground player who is as effective rushing from inside as he is from outside.
Za’Darius Smith (26), Baltimore (UPDATE: Smith has signed with Green Bay)
He dominates at times with inside moves, thanks to deceptively loose hips and quick, violent hands.
Markus Golden (28), Arizona
He had a quiet 2018 season coming off his 2017 knee injury, but is worth taking a flyer on given the burst he showed down the stretch in 2016.
Terrell Suggs (36), Baltimore (UPDATE: Suggs has signed with Arizona)
He’s still an imposing run defender and menacing pass rusher with an off-the-charts football IQ.
Justin Houston (30), Kansas City
He can still set the edge and make stops in space (sometimes within the same down), but knee injuries have taken some of his pass-rushing juice. Will teams see him as an everydown player or a “40 snaps a game” guy?
Preston Smith (26), Washington (UPDATE: Smith has signed with Green Bay)
His film was better than his numbers in 2018. He’s by no means a world-beater, but a solid rotational edge piece, particularly in a 3-4 scheme.
Dante Fowler (24), L.A. Rams (UPDATE: Fowler has re-signed with the Rams)
He’ll probably never be the pass rusher many hoped when he was drafted third overall in 2015, but he showed with the Rams late last year that he can be a sturdy three-down player, given his bouts of destructiveness against the run.
Ezekiel Ansah (29), Detroit
He’s a fast, fluid, long-bodied bender who closes well on the ball—when he’s healthy (which, lately, has not been often).
Shaq Barrett (26), Denver
He’s not quite stout enough to be a base starter and not quite explosive enough to be a bona fide pass-rushing specialist, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a worthy rotational piece.
Vinny Curry (30), Tampa Bay
His short-area movement and burst have long been massively underappreciated, but those traits vanished during his disappointing 2018 season in Tampa.
Shane Ray (25), Denver
He’s at his best as a standup interior pass rusher—which, unfortunately, spells a limited role.
Grady Jarrett (26), Atlanta (UPDATE: Falcons have franchise-tagged Jarrett)
He’s quick off the snap, mechanically savvy and tenacious in how he finishes plays. He doesn’t deserve Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox money, but becoming football’s third-highest paid defensive tackle makes sense.
Sheldon Richardson (28), Minnesota (UPDATE: Richardson has signed with Cleveland)
His off-field concerns seem to have forever tied him to one-year “prove it” deals. Will this be the year that his combination of suppleness and strength pushes a team into a multi-year risk?
Malcom Brown (25), New England
Without a powerful defensive line, the Patriots would not have won Super Bowl LIII. Meet the steadiest anchor along that D-line.
Ndamukong Suh (32), L.A. Rams
He appeared to be declining last season but then came alive in the playoffs. What to make of that?
Darius Philon (25), L.A. Chargers
He’s a gap penetrator who has flashed the past few years against both the run and pass. Can he take on 12-15 more snaps a game?
Jordan Phillips (26), Buffalo (UPDATE: Phillips has re-signed with Buffalo)
He’s one of football’s most athletically gifted defensive tackles—which makes his dismissal from Miami all the more unsettling.
Brent Urban (27), DL, Baltimore
He’s an overachieving plug-and-play guy who will handle your scheme’s dirty work.
Rodney Gunter (27), Arizona
His stout frame and lack of flash make his athleticism “deceptive.” That deceptive athleticism leads to splash plays every game.
Malik Jackson (29), Jacksonville (UPDATE: Jackson has signed with Philadelphia.)
He’s a better base defensive end than passing down 3-technique (which he often played in Jacksonville). If you run a lot of stunts and twists, he can be an excellent puzzle piece.
Henry Anderson (27), N.Y. Jets (UPDATE: Anderson has re-signed with the Jets)
He’s an underrated first- and second-down rotational player who found his niche as a pass-rushing nose tackle in New York’s unique “odd” sub-package fronts last season.
Johnathan Hankins (27), Oakland (UPDATE: Hankins has re-signed with Oakland.)
He’s a gap-plugger (his lower body is one of football’s biggest) with light enough feet to occasionally shed blocks and make stops himself.
Tyeler Davison (26), New Orleans
He’s one of several quietly sturdy enforcers who made New Orleans’s run defense the NFC’s most efficient in 2018. He’s more of an anchor than playmaker, but that’s not to say he’s merely an old-fashioned safe.
Angelo Blackson (26), Houston (UPDATE: Blackson has re-signed with Houston.)
He’s built like a first- and second-down player but, thanks to light feet and surprising body control, he was productive on certain third downs within the context of Houston’s multidimensional scheme.
Christian Covington (25), Houston
He’s a solid rotational piece in schemes where he can align as a tight defensive end or, at times, at tackle.
C.J. Mosley (26), Baltimore (UPDATE: Mosley has signed with the Jets)
He’s outstanding in coverage and—most of the time—decisive against the run. Sign him and the middle of your defense instantly stabilizes.
K.J. Wright (29), Seattle
He does everything exactly how you want a 4-3 linebacker to do it. His only questions are durability and age, neither of which looked like an issue down the stretch last season.
Anthony Barr (27), Minnesota (UPDATE: After reportedly agreeing to sign with the Jets, Barr has opted to re-sign with Minnesota)
His struggles in coverage early last season were not his norm. He can take on run-blocks (including from O-linemen), chase down ballcarriers, blitz effectively and close most passing lanes.
Kwon Alexander (24), Tampa Bay (UPDATE: Alexander has signed with San Francisco)
Assuming he bounces back from last October’s ACL tear, he can be one of football’s top run-and-chase linebackers. He’s probably better in a predominantly zone-based scheme than man-based scheme.
Deone Bucannon (26), Arizona (UPDATE: Bucannon has signed with Tampa Bay)
Don’t let his early benching under the Steve Wilks regime mislead you: His raw speed poses problems for an offense, especially blockers in a zone-based scheme.
Jordan Hicks (26), Philadelphia (UPDATE: Hicks has signed with Arizona)
He understands coverage and can hold up against the run. It will be fascinating to see his open-market value.
Jamie Collins (29), Cleveland
His speed and quickness still jump off the screen, but so do some of his undisciplined run fits and coverage angles.
Josh Bynes (29), Arizona
A deceptively stalking mover who also has the awareness to play in base situations or sub-packages. Someone will sign him as a backup and see him push for a starting job.
Mark Barron (29), L.A. Rams
His coverage ability is not what you’d expect from a converted safety, but he’s an efficient enough all-around mover to play in most packages.
Thomas Davis (36), Carolina (UPDATE: Davis has signed with the Chargers)
He has had a remarkable career after suffering major knee injuries in 2009, 2010 and 2011—and still played with burst in 2018. That said, how many players transition well to a new city, team and scheme this late in their career?
Denzel Perryman (26), L.A. Chargers (UPDATE: Perryman has re-signed with the Chargers)
He looks good when the men in front of him are playing well, but missing seven games in 2018 (knee) and 10 games in 2017 (ankle) raises concern.
Brandon Marshall (29), Denver
His speed and open-field prowess still make him viable in nickel and dime packages, the only question is his durability.
Adarius Taylor (28), Tampa Bay (UPDATE: Taylor has signed with Cleveland)
He might not quite be a true nickel linebacker, but he moves better than most No. 3 linebackers.
Damien Wilson (25), Dallas
A rotational piece who played on the strong side in some of (but certainly not all) of Dallas’s base and sub-packages. Won’t change your front seven but can help keep it above water.
Kyle Emanuel (27), L.A. Chargers
A scrappy first-and-second down player…which unfortunately doesn’t speak to an expansive linebacker role in today’s NFL.
Stephone Anthony (26), Miami
Started every game as a first-round rookie for the Saints in 2015 and then strangely became a scantly used backup (there and in Miami, where he landed in 2017). He can contribute on passing downs as a dime ‘backer—a position more teams are employing these days.
Ronald Darby (25), Philadelphia
He’s far from flawless, but he has shown he can make important individual plays in difficult coverage assignments. He’s at his best when the action is in front of him and he can rely on transitional movement to attack the ball.
Pierre Desir (28), Indianapolis (UPDATE: Desir has re-signed with Indianapolis)
He’s a sturdily built veteran corner who traveled for much of last season with the opponent’s most physical wideout. The strength of his game is jamming receivers at the snap.
Bryce Callahan (27), Chicago
He’s a slot corner with a phenomenal sense of zone spacing and matchup principles in coverage, and has blossomed into one of football’s best slot blitzers. He’s likely better in a matchup zone scheme than straight man coverage scheme.
Darqueze Dennard (27), Cincinnati
We always hear about a “10-year left tackle” who you plug in and cease to worry about on your O-line’s blind side. Meet the “5-year slot corner” who you can plug in at what’s maybe football’s most difficult position and never worry about, be it man or zone coverage.
Bradley Roby (27), Denver (UPDATE: Roby has signed with Houston)
He has mostly lived up to his 2014 late-first-round status, but wild ups and downs in iso coverage last season give you serious pause. Is he really a quality No. 2 or better suited to be a No. 3?
Kevin Johnson (26), Houston (UPDATE: Johnson has signed with Buffalo)
If not for major durability concerns, he’d be entering this season as Houston’s No. 1 cornerback. If healthy, he has the transitional movement dexterity to become an elite zone corner.
Nevin Lawson (28), Detroit
He can plug a hole in almost any secondary with his experience playing outside and inside in both zone-based and man-based schemes over his years in Detroit.
Kareem Jackson (31), Houston (UPDATE: Jackson has signed with Denver)
He’s up and down in coverage, but was far and away the NFL’s best tackling cornerback in 2018. His history at inside corner, outside corner and safety improves his market.
Eric Rowe (26), New England (UPDATE: Rowe has signed with Miami)
Like many corners, he got better after arriving in New England. His long, strong frame makes him best-suited for a Cover-3 type scheme where he can play bump-and-run with help from the sideline, but in certain scenarios he has played inside. More teams are matching corners on tight ends these days; that helps his status.
Morris Claiborne (29), N.Y. Jets
The rare man-to-man corner who relies more on agility than physicality (though not saying he can’t do both), he’s coming off a disappointing 2018 season after a stellar 2017 campaign.
Jason McCourty (31), New England (UPDATE: McCourty has re-signed with New England)
He’s a mid-level starter, but his ability to play inside or outside significantly increases his value in the right scheme.
Buster Skrine (30), N.Y. Jets (UPDATE: Skrine has signed with Chicago)
He has always been up and down, but that “up” includes stretches of over-achievement, which can be hard to find in the slot.
Bashaud Breeland (27), Green Bay
A somewhat hot-and-cold player who is not viewed as “versatile,” but he has had flashes of success at left, right and slot corner in Washington and Green Bay. He’s an enticing source of secondary depth, if nothing else.
Steven Nelson (26), Kansas City (UPDATE: Nelson has signed with Pittsburgh)
Just when you think he stinks, he makes a play. Just when you think he’s great, he gives up a play. Such is the life of a middle-tier man-to-man corner.
Rashaan Melvin (29), Oakland
Has never quite procured a stable long-term role, but has had his moments, starting 26 games for the Colts and Raiders over the last three years, predominantly as a zone-oriented left corner.
Jason Verrett (27), L.A. Chargers
Has never quite procured a stable long-term role, but has had his moments, starting 26 games for the Colts and Raiders over the last three years, predominantly as a zone-oriented left corner.
Earl Thomas (29), Seattle (UPDATE: Thomas has signed with Baltimore)
Plenty of safeties have flourished in their 30s, but most were box players (John Lynch, Brian Dawkins, Charles Woodson, etc.). Thomas is a rangy centerfielder hoping for a Rod Woodson-type second act. Even coming off the leg injury, he’s worth the gamble. He’ll be an alpha in your secondary who can give a defensive play-caller invaluable peace of mind.
Landon Collins (25), N.Y. Giants (UPDATE: Collins has signed with Washington)
He has corrected the man-to-man deficiencies that plagued him early in his career and has become a formidable cover artist against tight ends. In zone coverage, blitzing and run support, he checks every box. When he’s unblocked (which is often for a strong safety), he’s as dangerous a playmaker as anyone in football.
Lamarcus Joyner (28), L.A. Rams (UPDATE: Joyner has signed with Oakland)
He understands how to patrol centerfield and can also drop down and play low, both as a pass defender and hitter, despite being undersized. His history at cornerback also provides added schematic flexibility.
Adrian Amos (26), Chicago (UPDATE: Amos has signed with Green Bay)
Any safety who has started 56 games in a Vic Fangio-led defense knows how to play.
Tyrann Mathieu (26), Houston (UPDATE: Mathieu has signed with Kansas City)
He looked healthy in 2018, but wasn’t as electrifying as early in what has turned out to be an injury-dampened career. He can still be a top-10 safety, but diminished change-of-direction prowess hinders him against in-breaking routes. His unusual number of mental mistakes in 2018 are not indicative of the type of player he’s normally been.
Tashaun Gipson (28), Jacksonville (UPDATE: Gipson has signed with Houston)
He’s a reliable centerfielder who can also drop down and cover tight ends man-to-man.
Eric Weddle (34), Baltimore (UPDATE: Signed with the L.A. Rams)
At this point he has notable physical limitations, but they can be masked in an aggressive, complex scheme.
Tre Boston (26), Arizona
He fills the alley well in run support and can make the occasional play on the ball. He won’t change your secondary, but certainly won’t hinder it either.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (26), Washington
His body and athleticism are tantalizing, but he has not developed the necessary discipline to fulfill his potential.
Adrian Phillips (27), L.A. Chargers
He was a key cog in L.A.’s foundational dime defense, though he was successfully attacked on too many designer “over” routes (i.e. deep crossers) down the stretch.
George Iloka (28), Minnesota
He has prospered for years in a split-safety zone scheme, playing primarily deep but having the size to work into the box. He must prove he can play with consistent assertiveness after getting passed over for opportunities last year in Minnesota.
Kenny Vaccaro (28), Tennessee (UPDATE: Vaccaro has re-signed with Tennessee)
He’ll get beat in coverage at times, but has the flexibility to play both safety spots, slot corner and, perhaps, even linebacker.
Jimmie Ward (27), San Francisco (UPDATE: Ward re-signed with San Francisco)
He never quite found a position in San Francisco, drifting from outside corner to slot to safety. Will teams see him as “versatile” or as “rudderless”?
Andrew Sendejo (31), Minnesota
Whispered concerns about his and durability give you pause. When he’s right, he’s a tremendous downhill attacker, versus both the run and pass. His style demands a quality secondary around him, though.
Jahleel Addae (29), L.A. Chargers
He’s an imposing box safety who should transition well to linebacker in dime packages, if a team wanted to use him that way.
Clayton Geathers (26), Indianapolis
Safeties who can play linebacker are becoming increasingly valuable. Geathers got better each week in that role last year.
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