Top 2012 free agents: Will the Redskins need a safety?

Top 2012 free agents: Will the Redskins need a safety?
February 15, 2012, 10:52 am
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Our friends at Rotoworld have come up with a comprehensive list of players who will be free agents when the new league year starts at 4 p.m. on March 13. Were going to go position by position and take a look at the top players who may be available and how they might fit with the Redskins.

See below for a list of positions previously analyzed. Here is a closer look at the top safeties available.
Tyvon Branch, RaidersLaRon Landry, RedskinsDashon Goldson, 49ersMichael Griffin, TitansDwight Lowery, JaguarsThomas DeCoud, FalconsThe Redskins may or may not be in the market for safeties. LaRon Landry has said that he wants to return but interest on the Redskins side is problematic based on the health of his Achilles tendon and what Landrys contract expectations are.

Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is likely to be back despite speculation that he could be sent packing after one disappointing season. The paid him over 7 million last year and they should give him another year to see if he can be healthy and productive.

Branch would be the Redskins best option if they want to delve into free agency to find a strong safety. Hes fast, a sure tackler, and hes durable. However, he has not done much in the area of creating turnovers and thats where the Redskins need help. In four years in the league he has three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

Goldson, Griffin, Lowery, and DeCoud all play free safety. That might not be an obstacle to signing one of them if Landry leaves. He plays a different role, playing in the box and often blitzing rather than playing pass coverage, when he is in the lineup than does whoever substitutes for him. The roles are more interchangeable when some combination of Atogwe, Reed Doughty, and DeJon Gomes is in the lineup.

If the Redskins think they could work with one of the other four top safeties, it seems that Goldson (6 interceptions in 2011) and DeCoud (4 INTs) might be the better bets.

Previous free agent analysisQuarterbacksWide receiversRunning backsOffensive tacklesGuardsCentersTight endsDefensive lineLinebackersCornerbacksRich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at You can reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.