Veteran Safeties Available for Jags

One man's trash could be another man's treasure. What about three team's trash? Three safeties that have won three Super Bowls, two first-team All Pro selections and one Defensive Player of the Year Award were released today and the Jaguars have an opportunity to strengthen its roster.

With the rules emphasis promoting more passing in the NFL in recent years, the safety position has become more important than ever before. Last season, the Jaguars had arguably the worst safety play in the history of the NFL.

Jacksonville started five different safeties and the level of play seemingly regressed each and every week. Don Carey proved that he has no business playing professional football with his terrible angles and aversion to contact. Courtney Greene was mediocre before hurting his shoulder, and his future as a starting safety is murky at best.

The St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans increased the stock of available safeties as the three teams parted ways with O.J. Atogwe, Bob Sanders and Eugene Wilson respectively.

O.J. Atogwe has been a playmaker throughout his six year NFL career as he's tallied 22 interceptions and 38 passes defensed. The 29-year old safety has anchored the Rams defense and was released due to his scheduled $8 million salary for 2011.

Bob Sanders was the heart and soul of a Colts defense that has owned the AFC South and has had a historic run of success since Sanders arrival. The 5'8", 210 lb. safety was one of the most feared players on the field throughout his first four seasons as he helped lead Indianapolis to a Super Bowl title in 2006.

Sanders reckless style of play has seemingly caught up with him as a myriad of upper-body injuries has caused him to play just nine games over the past three years. His $5 million salary and recent injury history caused the Colts to go in a different direction as they've seen Antoine Bethea turn into one of the best safeties in football and Sanders backup, Melvin Bullitt has been solid.

In another cost-cutting move, the Houston Texans released veteran safety Eugene Wilson. Wilson struggled in 2010, just as all of the other Texans defensive backs. The 30-year old veteran has spent the last three seasons with Houston after spending the first five years of his career with New England, winning a pair of Super Bowls.

Each of the three players would be likely upgrades for Jacksonville as they can use an infusion of talent and experience at the position. The best fit would likely be Atogwe, as he has played at the highest level of the three most recently. He will also cost the most.

Bob Sanders could be a potential low-risk, high-reward type of acquisition as he is one of the very best players in football when healthy. Sanders injury history will likely diminish his value, which could fall right into the hands of Gene Smith and the Jaguars.

Eugene Wilson will likely receive no more than the veteran minimum and although he struggled last year, he would be an upgrade over the terrible Jacksonville secondary from last season.

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