The free agent crop of safeties this off season is loaded with talent. The Bengals have a pretty big need for a safety that can make an impact. Of all the directions the Bengals could go in free agency, filling the safety need is a real option and I could see the Bengals making a move.
Some of the top safeties in the NFL are available via free agency. Jairus Byrd, T.J. Ward and Donte Whitner lead a class of incredibly talented players that are looking for a home (and a lot of cash).
Would it make sense for the Bengals to make their splash to add a safety that could come in and make an immediate impact? I say yes.
I know that the Bengals like to build through the draft. They have had some great success doing that. I also am confident the Bengals will continue their streak with getting solid players out of college and molding them into what fits in our defensive system.
But, the Bengals are close. Sometimes all you need are those one or two pieces that can put you over the edge. The Bengals defense was the third best unit in the NFL last season. Imagine adding a safety that comes in and solidifies the position on the back side of an already good defense. It could make this squad scary good.
I am not for over spending on free agents. Often times it hurts more than it helps. In this instance though, with the amount of talent on the market, the price may not be too overinflated.
Take a look at the list of free agent safeties below. I think landing a quality player from this list is a real probability and one the Bengals should strongly consider. At the very least they should throw their hat in the ring to drive up the price for other interested teams.
- Jairus Byrd, S, Bills. Age: 27.
- T.J. Ward, S, Browns. Age: 27.
- Donte Whitner, S, 49ers. Age: 29.
- Chris Clemons, S, Dolphins. Age: 28.
- Major Wright, S, Bears. Age: 26.
- Stevie Brown, S, Giants. Age: 27.
- Antoine Bethea, S, Colts. Age: 30.
- Brandon Meriweather, S, Redskins. Age: 30.
- Husain Abdullah, S, Chiefs. Age: 29.
- Michael Mitchell, S, Panthers. Age: 27.
- Bernard Pollard, S, Titans. Age: 29.
- Ryan Mundy, S, Giants. Age: 29.
- James Ihedigbo, S, Ravens. Age: 30.
- Mike Adams, S, Broncos. Age: 33.
- Quintin Mikell, S, Panthers. Age: 34.
- Kendrick Lewis, S, Chiefs. Age: 26.
- Malcolm Jenkins, S, Saints. Age: 26.
- Nate Allen, S, Eagles. Age: 26.
- Ryan Clark, S, Steelers. Age: 35.
- Yeremiah Bell, S, Cardinals. Age: 36.
- Charles Woodson, S, Raiders. Age: 37.
- Ed Reed, S, Jets. Age: 35.
- Taylor Mays, S, Bengals. Age: 26.
- Will Allen, S, Steelers. Age: 32.
- Jim Leonhard, S, Bills. Age: 31.
- Quintin Demps, S, Chiefs. Age: 29.
- Reed Doughty, S, Redskins. Age: 31.
- Darian Stewart, S, Rams. Age: 26.
- Darrell Stuckey, S, Chargers. Age: 27.
- Chris Maragos, S, Seahawks. Age: 27.
- Kurt Coleman, S, Eagles. Age: 26.
- Sergio Brown, S, Colts. Age: 26.
- Usama Young, S, Raiders. Age: 29.
- Craig Steltz, S, Bears. Age: 28.
- Danny McCray, S, Cowboys. Age: 26.
- Colt Anderson, S, Eagles. Age: 28.
- Matt Giordano, S, Rams. Age: 31.
- Tanard Jackson, S, Redskins. Age: 29.
- Jeromy Miles, S, Ravens. Age: 27.
- John Wendling, S, Lions. Age: 31.