Safeties (11)

Steve Atwater, Brian Dawkins, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed.

Modern Positional Average

Safeties: Steve Atwater (2020), Brian Dawkins (2018), John Lynch (2021), Troy Polamalu (2020), Ed Reed (2019).

Note that in 2019, all Defensive Backs were grouped together, and were Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law, Ed Reed, and Aeneas Williams.  Cornerbacks and Safeties were split in 2020 but kept at four in both categories to keep everything modern.  With the addition of Lynch, we now have five modern Safeties, resulting in significant changes.  Games increased by nearly 9, but Approximate Value dropped by 10, resulting in a decreased AV/G of nearly .09.  Pro Bowls remained the same and First Team All-Pros dropped by .4   Interceptions dropped by more than 3, and Tackles rose by nearly 40.

Stats

  • Games 189.4
  • Approximate Value 120
  • AV/G 0.6336
  • Pro Bowls 8.4
  • First Team All-Pros 3.4
  • Interceptions 36.6
  • Tackles 964.6

Last Year’s Rank #26.

Earl Thomas’ career might be over, as he was released after a mid-game fight with a fellow Safety in the 2020 pre-season.  He was not signed by any other team, and if this is the case it likely puts Thomas on the wrong side of the Hall of Fame ledger despite being an All-Decade player, Super Bowl Champion and seven Pro Bowls.  We would love to see Thomas get another chance somewhere.

Stats

  • Games 140 (-49.4)
  • Approximate Value 101 (-19)
  • AV/G 0.7214 (+0.0878)
  • Pro Bowls 7 (-1.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 3 (-0.4)
  • Interceptions 30 (-6.6)
  • Tackles 713 (-251.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank #87, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #103.

Mathieu is an intriguing case as he was a surprise All-Decade recipient, but when you gain that honor, you will be forever talked about in regards to the Hall.  Saying that, his AV/G is well below what a Hall of Famer should be, and has been a Pro Bowler only twice.  Saying that, he is now a three-time First Team All-Pro, a Super Bowl Champion, and has a star aura.  This is a key year for the Honey Badger to see if there is any legitimate Hall of Fame chance.

Stats

  • Games 129 (-60.4)
  • Approximate Value 64 (-56)
  • AV/G 0.4961 (-0.1375)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 3 (-0.4)
  • Interceptions 26 (-10.6)
  • Tackles 610 (-354.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank #90,  2020 Pre-SeasonRank #72.

The five-year streak of Pro Bowls ended in 2020, but last season Smith was back on the Pro Bowl roster, claiming number six.  Smith is, however, not close to any of the MPAs, and will need to keep up his current pace into his mid-30s.  That isn’t impossible, but it is more likely that he will regress instead.

Stats

  • Games 145 (-44.4)
  • Approximate Value 76 (-44)
  • AV/G 0.5241 (-0.1095)
  • Pro Bowls 6 (-2.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2.4)
  • Interceptions 29 (-7.6)
  • Tackles 861 (-103.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank #94, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #116.

After three seasons, Adams forced his way out of the Jets, and the Seahawks gave up a lot of high picks to get him.  If Adams is what we think he is, Seattle won the trade, although he had a down 2021 following a three-year Pro Bowl streak.  Notably, Adams already has over 20 Sacks.

Stats

  • Games 70 (-119.4)
  • Approximate Value 45 (-75)
  • AV/G 0.6429 (+0.0093)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2.4)
  • Interceptions 4 (-32.6)
  • Tackles 443 (-521.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank #!113, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #147.

Baker is already a four-time Pro Bowl Selection and is now a two-time First Team All-Pro with only four seasons.  Baker is a tackling machine with who led the NFL in Solo Tackles in 2019, and although his AV/G is lower than the MPA, his stature among his peers his huge.

Stats

  • Games 71 (-118.4)
  • Approximate Value 34 (-86)
  • AV/G 0.5770 (-0.0566)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-4.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 2 (-1.4)
  • Interceptions 5 (-31.6)
  • Tackles 539 (-425.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank #108, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #140.

Fitzpatrick was traded early in his second season from Miami to Pittsburgh, and it was a great year for the Free Safety with a First Team All-Pro selection.  He replicated the honor in his first full season as a Steeler.  Fitzpatrick had a disappointing 2021, but has the skills and youth to rebound in 2022.

Stats

  • Games 64 (-125.4)
  • Approximate Value 40 (-80)
  • AV/G 0.6250 (-0.0086000000000001)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 2 (-1.4)
  • Interceptions 13 (-23.6)
  • Tackles 352 (-612.6)

2021 Pre-Season Rank: #137, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #134.

McCourty is 35 and his time is running out.  A two-time Pro Bowler, McCourty has three Super Bowls to console him should the Hall of Fame never call him.

Stats

  • Games 188 (-1.4)
  • Approximate Value 89 (-31)
  • AV/G 0.4734 (-0.1602)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-3.4)
  • Interceptions 31 (-5.6)
  • Tackles 900 (-64.6)

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2021 Pre-Season Rank #127, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #115.

Eddie Jackson is a five-year veteran, all of which with the Chicago Bears.  The Strong Safety was a First Team All-Pro in 2018 and has been to two Pro Bowls.  Jackson only played four Games last year due to injury, but he has a third Pro Bowl in him if he stays healthy.

Stats

  • Games 76 (-113.4)
  • Approximate Value 42 (-78)
  • AV/G 0.5526 (-0.081)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2.4)
  • Interceptions 10 (-26.6)
  • Tackles 342 (-622.6)
2021: Pre-Season Rank #139, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #136.

Collins might be a three-time Pro Bowler, but his AV/G is not great.  Collins has however put up respectable tackling numbers, but there is a lot of work to do, especially considering he enters 2021 as a Free Agent.

Stats

  • Games 94 (-95.4)
  • Approximate Value 46 (-74)
  • AV/G 0.4894 (-0.1442)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-5.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-2.4)
  • Interceptions 11 (-25.6)
  • Tackles 676 (-288.6)
2021: Pre-Season Rank Unranked

Byard was a 2017 First Team All-Pro, and he did it again last year after a few average campaigns.  What Byard does in 2022 will be pivotal if he is to make a Hall of Fame case.

Stats

  • Games 97 (-92.4)
  • Approximate Value 50 (-70)
  • AV/G 0.5155 (-0.1181)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-6.4)
  • First Team All-Pros 2 (-1.4)
  • Interceptions 25 (-11.6)
  • Tackles 519 (-445.6)