Now, onto the list of 2013 Notable Free Agent Defensive Backs.
1. S George Wilson, Buffalo Bills (32) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Titans (2 years @ $4 million) - 2/22/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: After being let go by the Bills in the off-season, Wilson signed with the Titans who were in desperate need of a solid veteran strong safety. Wilson is a strong coverage defender who can hold his own against the run. Given the historically high amount of tackle opportunity the Tennessee defense has received in recent years, along with the fantasy success of previous Titans' strong safeties, Wilson could very well be one of the top tackle producing safeties again in 2013.
2. S Bernard Pollard, Baltimore Ravens (28) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Titans (1 year @ ?) - 3/21/2013
Free Agent Analysis: I was pretty shocked that the Ravens let Pollard go since they had already lost 5 defensive starters. He won't have any issues finding a starting job and should continue to have DB1 value with a majority of his potential suitors.
Interested NFL Team(s):Tennessee Titans
Fantasy Impact of Signing: This is a big signing from a fantasy perspective. I would imagine this bumps George Wilson to free safety (where he still has some value) as Pollard's skillset is best suited at strong safety. Expect him to play up in-the-box frequently. As long as the Titans continue to receive above average tackle opportunity, Pollard remains a top 5 DB.
3. S LaRon Landry, New York Jets (28) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Colts (4 years @ $24 million, $11 million guaranteed) - 3/13/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Landry was either going to land in Indianapolis or San Francisco. I am glad to see he signed with the former as he should be in line for a much healthier dose of tackle chances. The Colts were quite soft in many areas of their defensive game last season and Landry will be counted on to be an in-the-box, run-stopping force. His health is still a bit of an issue, but he did play all 16 games last year. The upside is high enough for him to be drafted as a fringe DB1.
4. S Patrick Chung, New England Patriots (26) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Eagles (3 years @ $10 million, $4.5 million guaranteed) - 3/13/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: This signing makes sense. Chung played for new Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly at Oregon and he fits the scheme. Look for him to play the Kam Chancellor role in Billy's Davis' 3-4 under front scheme. If he can stay healthy, a return to fantasy prominence looks likely. He's worth a DB2/3 selection.
5. CB Antoine Winfield, Minnesota Vikings (36) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Seahawks (1 year @ $3 million, $1 million guaranteed) - 4/12/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Not sure exactly why the Vikings cut Winfield. Despite his age, he's still one of the best slot corners in the game. From a tackling perspective, he's leaps and bounds above every other corner. As long as he sees a reasonable amount of playing time, still draft him as a CB1.
Interested NFL Team(s): Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Winfield will most likely play slot corner as the Seahawks already have two very well established outside corners in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. With the NFL becoming a pass-happy league, Winfield should still see plenty of balls thrown his way. Feel free to bump him down your rankings a few slots, but he should still be a viable CB2+.
March 22 News Update: Coach Leslie Frazier is under the impression free agent CB Antoine Winfield would like to re-sign with the Vikings, even though he'd be in for a reduced role.
March 13 News Update: Sources tell the Washington Examiner that the Redskins have interest in free agent CB Antoine Winfield.
6. S Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills (26) - Unrestricted FA
*Franchise tagged by the Bills (non-exclusive) - 3/1/2013
Fantasy Impact of Franchise Tag: Although his tackle numbers are less than desirable, Byrd has been consistent enough in his big play capabilities over his four year career to be a dependable DB3+. He had 5 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries last year. The switch to a multiple front scheme shouldn't affect his production.
March 10 News Update: BuffaloBills.com expects franchise player Jairus Byrd to push for a long-term deal averaging at least $8 million annually.
7. S William Moore, Atlanta Falcons (28) - Unrestricted FA
*Re-signed by the Falcons (5 years @ $30 million, $14 million guaranteed) - 3/9/2013
Fantasy Impact of Re-signing: Before going down with a season-ending injury in Week 13, Moore was a top 10 fantasy DB (albeit a significant amount of his points came in three specific games). Owners had been patiently waiting for Moore to break out since his 2010 season and were finally rewarded somewhat last year. He's a solid all-around player who is fully capable of 70+ solo tackles and 4-5 INTs a year
8. S Quintin Mikell, St. Louis Rams (32) - Unrestricted FA
Free Agent Analysis: Mikell graded out as a top 5 safety according to Pro Football Focus, but was let go in the wake of a youth movement by St. Louis. He'll latch on somewhere as a starter and should continue to be counted on as a consistent DB3 option.
Interested NFL Team(s): St. Louis Rams
March 24 News Update: Coach Jeff Fisher says the Rams "have interest" in re-signing free agent SS Quintin Mikell.
9. S Stevie Brown, New York Giants (26) - Restricted FA
*Tendered by the Giants (2nd Round) - 3/11/2013
**Re-signed by the Giants (1 year @ $2.023 million) - 3/19/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Brown came out of nowhere last season and quickly developed into a dangerous weapon for fantasy owners to utilize down the stretch. He finished the season with 8 interceptions and was fairly decent against the run. His tender makes it unlikely that Kenny Phillips returns to the Giants, thereby clearing the way for Brown to be an every down player. Part of me suspects that his 2012 performance was a bit of a fluke, but at a fantasy position that is classically unpredictable, he's worth the risk as a DB3 or even DB2 selection in some cases.
Interested NFL Team(s): New York Giants
10. CB DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins (29) - Unrestricted FA
*Re-signed by the Redskins (1 year @ $1.25 million) - 4/1/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Known as one of the bigger chatterboxes in the game, Hall got burned too many times last year for the Redskins to carry over his full salary another year. With this said, he's a very consistent fantasy option who can usually be relied on for ~65 solo tackles and 4-5 interceptions. There are rumors of a possible change to free safety which would make sense in some regards. Either way, I see his value staying relatively the same regardless of position or team unless a drastic change occurs.
Interested NFL Team(s): Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins
Fantasy Impact of Signing: The Redskins brought Hall back on the cheap and he figures to be the starter in Washington for at least one more season. Although he's been a questionable starter at times in real NFL terms, he's been a solid fantasy producer for several straight seasons. Still look to him as a CB2+/DB3.
March 12 News Update: Dan Hellie of NBC Washington reports the Cowboys are interested in free agent DeAngelo Hall to play free safety.
11. S Glover Quin, Houston Texans (27) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Lions (5 years @ $25 million) - 3/13/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Quin doesn't do anyone one thing in an outstanding fashion, but he is above average against the run and scheme versatile. He should see in upgrade in tackle opportunities now that he's playing behind a leakier front seven in Detroit. There's no reason to believe he will be a huge big play producer, but he should provide owners with consistent enough production to have DB3-DB3+ value.
12. S Yeremiah Bell, New York Jets (35) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Cardinals (1 year @ $950k, $550k guaranteed) - 3/13/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: The 10 year veteran out of Eastern Kentucky lands with the third team in the last three seasons. He's been one of the most stable tackle options for fantasy owners, registering 70+ solos tackles in each of the last five seasons. His old position coach in Miami, Todd Bowles, is the new defensive coordinator in Arizona where Bell figures to slide into the strong safety role next to recently re-signed safety Rashad Johnson. For those risk-averse owners, Bell is a decent low-end DB3 option.
13. S Dashon Goldson, San Francisco 49ers (28) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Buccaneers (5 years @ $41.25 million, $22 million guaranteed) - 3/13/2013
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Despite being one of the most coveted defensive backs in this year's free agency class, I've always considered Goldson a bit overrated from a fantasy perspective. Perhaps some of that was due to a lack of tackle opportunity in San Francisco, but Goldson will be used primarily as a coverage safety in Tampa Bay as that's where his greatest skill lies. Overall, the move bumps his value a bit, but he still falls in the DB4+/DB3- range for me.
14. S Louis Delmas, Detroit Lions (26) - Unrestricted FA
*Re-signed by the Lions (2 years @ $9.465 million) - 3/15/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Similar to Dashon Goldson, I consider Delmas to be overrated fantasy-wise. He's yet to eclipse 64 solo tackles in a season and hasn't made nearly the big play impact many thought he would when he was drafted back in 2009. Additionally, he's had trouble staying healthy the past two seasons. He's a player I typically avoid in fantasy drafts.
Interested NFL Team(s): St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos
Fantasy Impact of Re-signing: Delmas will continue to man the free safety spot in Detroit. He has decent upside, but his injury issues are a major concern and his ADP is typically too high for me to take a chance on him in the majority of my drafts.
March 13 News Update: Free agent FS Louis Delmas has left St. Louis and is headed to San Francisco for a visit.
15. S Dawan Landry, Jacksonville Jaguars (30) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Jets (2 years @ $3 million) - 4/9/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Landry benefited from above average tackle opportunity during his time with the Jaguars. He was one of the top tackle producing safeties in the league last year with 81 solo tackles. With this said, he graded out negatively in each of the last two seasons and may have to battle during training camp for a starting job. It's going to be hard for him to replicate his numbers from seasons past moving forward.
Interested NFL Team(s): New York Jets
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Dawan will be taking the place of younger brother LaRon in New York. Although he graded out negatively last year, Landry has shown consistent tackle-producing ability. He should continue to see a decent amount of tackle changes with the Jets, but he's not 65-70 solos is quite achievable. He'll fall into the low-end DB3, matchup-type play pool.
16. S Kenny Phillips, New York Giants (26) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Eagles (1 year @ $2 million) - 3/14/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Phillips has struggled with knee issues since entering the league, but would provide a welcome upgrade at safety for several teams. He's probably never going to be the type of fantasy player owners were hoping for when he was drafted, but there's still some salvageable value with him if he lands in the right situation.
Interested NFL Team(s): Carolina Panthers
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Phillips will pair with recently signed Patrick Chung as part of the Eagles totally renovated secondary. He'll man the less productive free safety spot. He's a developmental fantasy prospect at this point, but he's worth watching in deeper leagues.
March 7 News Update: Free agent FS Kenny Phillips will test the open market.
17. S Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens (34) - Unrestricted FA
*Signed by the Texans (2 years @ ?) - 3/20/2013
Free Agent Analysis: After spending his entire 11 year career with the Ravens, it looks as though the future Hall of Famer will likely be moving on to a different team in 2013. The 49ers and Texans are both said to have interest in Reed. He's still one of the more dangerous centerfield-type free safeties; however, he should only be seriously considered in big play scoring formats.
Interested NFL Team(s): San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans
Fantasy Impact of Signing: Expect Reed to operate similarly to how he did during his reign with the Ravens. The Texans have one of the better defenses in the league which will allow Reed to roam around and make big plays from his frees safety position. Danieal Manning will slide to strong safety. Reed doesn't play in the box enough to provide consistent value in balanced and tackle-heavy leagues, but he's worth a shot as a DB3 in deeper, big play leagues.
March 15 News Update: Free agent S Ed Reed remains in Houston on a visit with the Texans Friday.
March 13 News Update: Free agent Ed Reed will visit the Texans on Thursday.
18. S Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (38) - Unrestricted FA
Free Agent Analysis: It's amazing that a player who will turn 38 in April can still produce at the level Barber did in 2012. According to this twin brother Tiki, Ronde still wants to play. The Dashon Goldson signing may detract from Barber's playing time if he does decide to return. It's a waiting game at this point.
Interested NFL Team(s): Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19. S Chris Clemons, Miami Dolphins (27) - Unrestricted FA
*Re-signed by the Dolphins (1 year @ $2.75 million) - 3/12/2013
Fantasy Impact of Re-signing: Clemons was a workhorse for the Dolphins last year as he played in over 1100 snaps. The Dolphins were able to bring him back on the cheap. He still remains a replacement level fantasy option in 10-12 team leagues though due to his lack of big plays.
20. CB Aqib Talib, New England Patriots (27) - Unrestricted FA
*Re-signed by the Patriots (1 year @ $5 million) - 3/16/2013
Free Agent Analysis: Talib has shown a knack for the big play throughout his career. His fantasy production was derailed a bit last year due to a 4 game suspension which led to his being traded mid-season. He doesn't see enough balls thrown his way to be a top level fantasy option, but the consistent interception production is enough for DB4 value.
Interested NFL Team(s): Washington Redskins, New England Patriots
Fantasy Impact of Re-signing: Talib will find himself in New England for at least one more season. He reportedly turned down multi-year offers from a couple other teams to stay in Foxsboro. He was one of the top free agent corners available this year and will combine with Kyle Arrington and Alonzo Dennard to form a fairly formidable secondary. He's a CB2 fantasy player.
March 15 News Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter believes free agent CB Aqib Talib will end up returning to the Patriots.
March 13 News Update: Both the Washington Examiner and 106.7 The Fan in D.C. pass along word that the Redskins are still targeting free agent Aqib Talib.
Are there any other 2013 Free Agent Defensive Backs that you think should be included in this conversation? If so, please let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me at [email protected]. You can also hit me up on Twitter.
Last Updated: May 13, 2013 Related Posts: