Some safeties are going to be too expensive for the Kansas City Chiefs to get in on when NFL free agency comes on March 11. Other safeties won't be worth the risk for a team expected to compete for the playoffs and a team who needs a safety ready to start right now.
There will be options in free agency. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has plenty of experience spending resources on defensive backs whether that's free agency (CB Nnamdi Asomugha), trade (CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) or the draft (2010 second round S Nate Allen).
While folks have their opinions on what the Chiefs should do, there is still no consensus on how they are most likely to acquire their next safety. I'm leaning towards free agency, partially because it comes before the draft and safety is such a need that the Chiefs can't be backed into a corner(back, hey-o) at draft time.
If it is free agency, we have a list of some of the top safeties to consider, courtesy of Rotoworld's Evan Silva, who ranked the top 150 free agents. Silva's ranking and my thoughts on each safety below.
4. Jairus Byrd (Bills)
He was not tagged and will hit the open market. He is the best safety available, which means he will be paid handsomely. Almost certainly out of the Chiefs price range. Would be cool though, wouldn't it?
21. TJ Ward (Browns)
Looks like he will hit the market after the Browns used the transition tag on Alex Mack. He has price tag questions as one of the top safeties available. He's more of a strong safety but has cover skills. The Browns have a lot of cap space to use.
40. Donte Whitner (49ers)
Maybe not the best positional fit but still a good player. Also, he tweets in the third person.
According to Pro Football Focus, Whitner ranked as the fifth-best safety in the NFL in pass coverage.— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) March 2, 2014
48. Antoine Bethea (Colts)
He's 30 years old. The Colts supposedly want him back. Is he fast enough? Read our Q&A with Stampede Blue on Bethea's free agency bid. And here is Matt Verderame's case for Bethea on the Chiefs.
49. Chris Clemons (Dolphins)
Took a one-year deal last year. Wondering if he's looking for a long-term deal.
52. Louis Delmas (Lions)
Released weeks ago and still hasn't found a home. Hmm.
60. Malcolm Jenkins (Saints)
Interesting option having played multiple positions in the secondary. He's still fairly young at 26 years old.
71. Stevie Brown (Giants)
Big Blue View's Ed Valentine reports that he's having discussions with the Giants about coming back.
100. Nate Allen (Eagles)
Wish he were ranked higher. With his familiarity with the Chiefs staff, this has to be a serious consideration. Andy Reid drafted him in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Read our Q&A with Bleeding Green Nation on Allen's free agency bid. And here is Matt Verderame's case for Allen on the Chiefs.
121. Terrell Thomas (Giants)
He's had multiple ACL injuries but has experience playing cornerback or safety. You wouldn't be able to count on him given his injury history.