2013 NFL free agents: Top safeties available

Norm Hall

The free agent crop of safeties is loaded with young talent, but there are also a couple of veterans who could have options if they decide to keep playing.

The 2013 crop of free agent safeties isn't lacking on talent, as three of the six Pro Bowlers are going to hit the market. Not only that, but there is a combination of veterans and rising stars. Here is a closer look at the top safeties who will hit the free agent market.

Best Available

Jairus Byrd: Byrd isn't one of the three players who made the Pro Bowl, but that doesn't mean he isn't the best available free agent. The 26-year-old turned in another excellent season in Buffalo and is rated as the best free agent safety by Pro Football Focus, and it isn't close. Byrd finished the season with 76 tackles, four forced fumbles, five interceptions and five tackles for loss, proving he can play both the run and excel in coverage. He may not have the name recognition of others, but Byrd will be a big acquisition wherever he ends up.

Dashon Goldson: Goldson didn't generate a lot of interest when he was a free agent two seasons ago, but he will have a bigger market this time around. After making the Pro Bowl last season, the 49ers used the franchise tag to keep Goldson in 2012. He made the Pro Bowl again this season and it would cost the 49ers nearly $7.5 million to franchise him again. If the 49ers don't use the franchise tag, they may have to enter a bidding war to keep him.

William Moore: After playing in just two games as a rookie, Moore took on a much bigger role in his second year and has produced at a high level since. He's had injury issues the past two seasons, including missing four games this season for Atlanta, but when he's on the field he's proven to be a playmaker. He finished this season with 75 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and four interceptions.

LaRon Landry: After two injury-plagued seasons ended his career in Washington, Landry rebounded in 2012 with the New York Jets. He finished the season with 99 tackles and two interceptions on his way to earning the first Pro Bowl invitation of his career. While he may not be the best coverage safety available, Landry is known to be one of the more physical safeties in the NFL.

Stevie Brown: Brown has played for three different teams during his three-year career, but excelled as a starter for the Giants last season. He will be a restricted free agent this season, but could interest teams enough to be tendered an offer. Brown started 11 games this season, finishing with 76 tackles, 11 pass deflections and eight interceptions.

Ed Reed/Ronde Barber: Both Reed and Barber have spent their entire careers with one team. Both, however, will be free agents and could interest teams if they decide to test the market. Reed still has a knack for pulling the ball out of the air. He had four interceptions during the season and big one in the Ravens' Super Bowl win. Retirement could also be an option for both, though seems less likely for Reed.

Honorable mention

Chris Clemons, Patrick Chung, Glover Quin, Louis Delmas, Kenny Phillips

The full list

Jairus Byrd
Dashon Goldson
Ed Reed
Ronde Barber
William Moore
Louis Delmas
Chris Clemons
Glover Quin
Kenny Phillips
LaRon Landry
George Wilson
Pat Chung
Yeremiah Bell
Jamarca Sanford
Nate Clements
Jim Leonhard
Abram Elam
Sherrod Martin
Corey Lynch
Craig Dahl
Madieu Williams
Chris Crocker
Ryan Mundy
Rashad Johnson
O.J. Atogwe
Matt Giordano
Tanard Jackson
Brodney Pool
Michael Mitchell
Gibril Wilson
Deon Grant
Melvin Bullitt
Erik Coleman


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