Dec 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (89) is tackled after a pass reception by Miami Dolphins strong safety Chris Clemons (30) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas DeCoud had a terrible season last year. Atlanta decided not to give him the chance to bounce back and cut him. He was a ball hawk in 2012, but he was never a good open-field tackler. Losing his skills in coverage made him very expendable. Although free agency is becoming more barren of talented options, there are still two players to consider: Chris Clemons and Rafael Bush. Clemons is a solid tackler and even better in coverage. He’s not a game changer, but he has everything the Falcons need in a starting free safety. Signing him would probably eat up the rest of the cap space Atlanta has to work with in free agency. Bush is a cheaper option. He’s tendered by the Saints for just over $1 million. He’s also young and full of potential.
If Atlanta chooses to go the rout of the draft to pick up their starting free safety, the best option is Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. He probably won’t fall to the second round, but it would be great if he did. The most likely pick would be Calvin Pryor from Louisville. The talent level falls off quickly after that. A free safety with the ability to start day one most likely won’t be available in the third round.