Before free agency officially begins, TGH will be giving you our picks for the top free agents at every position in 2020. Keep in mind, these are our opinions for the top players and will not list every free agent. As of writing, all of the players listed are currently still un-signed.
Here we’ll look at the best options at safety during 2020 free agency.
Justin Simmons is a safety with the ability to play either free or strong safety. He had a very good 2019 campaign ahead of free agency.
Playing in all 16 games for the second year in a row, Simmons collected four interceptions, which is a career high. Since entering the league in 2016, Simmons has 11 interceptions for 186 yards and one touchdown. He also has 28 passes defended and two sacks. He also started every single game for the Broncos in 2019.
Along with his career high in interceptions, he also blew his previous mark for defended passes out of the water. His 15 passes defended beat his previous high mark by 10 (in 2018). He picked a good year to have his best season, as he could get paid handsomely in return.
Denver has the option to franchise tag Simmons if they choose. They will likely end up doing this so they do not lose him, and to see if he can repeat this kind of production before signing him to a long term deal.
His market is wide open in 2020. But it is all dependent on whether or not the Broncos exercise their option to franchise tag the rangey safety.
Anthony Harris also had his best year ahead of free agency.
He had six interceptions and one touchdown in 2019. This is even more impressive considering he only played in 14 games. Harris’ career high mark in passes defended also came last season, as he had 11, which beat his previous best by five.
Harris entered the league in 2016, but has yet to record a sack. He can, however, play both free and strong safety if asked. His 127 solo tackles since entering the league are also a huge selling point for teams looking for safeties in 2020.
The Vikings have one year left of Kirk Cousins’ huge contract, which will give them some financial freedom heading into 2021. As of now, however, they may have to underpay Harris if they want to keep him.
A big selling point for staying with Minnesota may be their playoff success. They defeated the favored Saints in the Wild Card Round before falling to the eventual NFC Champion 49ers in the Divisional Round. He may want to stay if he believes they can reach the Super Bowl. If not, many teams may come calling.
McCourty is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. He also has made the Pro Bowl twice, both with the Patriots.
New England had the best defense in the league in 2019, especially in the turnover department. McCourty was a big part of that, as he had five interceptions in 16 games. Surprisingly, this is two behind his career high in 2010.
He is an anchor of the New England defense, and they will likely want to keep him, being that he has played all 10 of his seasons with the Pats. However, the team is in flux as the team does not know what Tom Brady will do as of writing. They were dominant on the defensive side of the ball, but the offense was lackluster and led to an early exit in the Wild Card Round.
McCourty will likely hear offers, as he has collected his Super Bowl wins and may be looking for a pay day. He is playing with his twin brother in New England, however, which may be a factor in his decision if the Patriots try to re-sign him.
Featured Image courtesy of Joe Amon/The Denver Post
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