Safety market robust with options for the Falcons

NFL: OCT 12 Broncos at Chiefs

The Falcons’ secondary was much improved last season, thanks in large part to the addition of All-Pro safety Jessie Bates III, but it can still stand for some substantial upgrades this offseason.

At cornerback, there aren’t many inspiring options. I recently came up with a Falcons free agency wish list for the position, which you can find here, but safety is an entirely different story. There are a bevy of fantastic safeties hitting the market; so many, that the Falcons may be able to find a running mate for Jessie Bates III for cheap.

It’s not the most pressing need for Atlanta, but Richie Grant has not shown enough improvement over his first three years in the league and was supplanted by a rookie seventh-round pick DeMarcco Hellams at the end of last season. Perhaps Raheem Morris and the new regime believe they can get by with Grant and Hellams again this year, but if they want to upgrade, it shouldn’t be too difficult given the breadth of talent available at the position.

Most recently, Justin Simmons, who has made four All-Pro teams since 2019, including this past season, was released by the Broncos, joining guys like Jordan Poyer, Jamal Adams, Eddie Jackson, and more.

And those are just the safeties that have recently been released. There’s plenty of more starting caliber options that could step in and start immediately for the Falcons, and because there are so many high quality free agents, Dianna Russini of The Athletic is reporting that the market for them could be a lot like it has been in recent years for running backs.

Safety is far from a premium position, and the Falcons already spent top-dollar on one of the best in the game last offseason. I don’t expect them to be searching the top of the market for another one this time around, but they likely won’t have to because of the market outlook.

Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

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