Free Agent Preview: Safety

In our final installment, we look at safety. Although the Bears appear to be set in the starting lineup, there could be at least one player that could be hard for Lovie Smith to pass up. Find out what beat writers around the league think about the safeties they cover that are scheduled for free agency in March.

While Mike Brown was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, he's missed 18 games due to injury the past two seasons. Chris Harris proved to be a steal in the sixth round, but still has to improve his game to hold onto a starting role.

The Bears are likely to let go of Mike Green during the off-season, which will create a need for depth at safety. Leaving even more doubt, Brandon McGowan suffered a knee injury late in the season that could carry over into training camp.

  • St. Louis Rams SS Adam Archuleta had his best years under Lovie Smith. The Bears seem to have their starting safeties in Brown and Harris, but Archuleta could be willing to take less money to rejoin Smith.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers S Chris Hope is a priority for the world champions. No formal offer has been made, but keeping the two-year starter off the open market is the game plan.

  • Minnesota Vikings SS Corey Chavous is an unrestricted free agent and is almost certain to walk away. Unhappy with his contract entering the season, he had two interceptions, and he took the nameplate off his locker before leaving Winter Park after the season.

  • Miami Dolphins FS Lance Schulters, an unrestricted free agent, is looking to cash in after being a bargain with a $665,000 base salary in 2005.

  • Tennessee Titans SS Tank Williams was not himself after an ACL reconstruction, though the team felt he improved at the end. He is heading for unrestricted free agency and should only be back at an inexpensive price.

  • Baltimore Ravens S Will Demps' season ended with a knee injury. It's uncertain whether the Ravens will re-sign him.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Dexter Jackson, the former Super Bowl MVP, is a free agent, leaving the starting free safety spot open for Will Allen next season.

  • New England Patriots S Artrell Hawkins, a veteran cornerback who converted to strong safety after signing in mid-November, filled in well for injured Rodney Harrison. He's doesn't have ideal size (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) and really played the position like an extra cornerback. Hawkins is a free agent and signing him will likely be a priority.

  • Oakland Raiders S Jarrod Cooper was pressed into full-time action at safety because of injuries and had some good moments, although his strength is as a core special teams player who can play safety as a reserve. Cooper, an unrestricted free agent, has stated his desire to return.

  • Raiders S Reggie Tongue was signed Nov. 2, and his defensive role was increasing quickly, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury and was placed on injured reserve Nov. 29. He is an unrestricted free agent.

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