New Orleans Saints' Offseason: Brian Dawkins Among Those Available at Safety

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2009

It is obvious to many Saints fans and local media members that the Saints are in desperate need of upgrading their safety position. 

Current safeties Josh Bullocks, Roman Harper, and Kevin Kaesviharn got burned repeatedly down field. 

The Saints have an opportunity to make an upgrade with the players expected to hit the open market once the NFL off-season officially begins.


Free safety free agents to consider

Brian Dawkins (UFA)

Positives: He continues to be an anchor of one of the best defenses in the NFL and has a lot of veteran experience.

Negatives: Dawkins may be too old and too expensive.  His numbers have declined in recent years having recorded just one interception in each of his past two seasons.


Jarrad Page (RFA)

Positives: He is just entering his prime as he just finished his third season in NFL.  He has started every game each of the past two seasons.

Negatives: As a restricted free agent, Saints would have to offer compensation to his current team, the Chiefs, if they sign him. The Chiefs’ defense is one of the worst in the NFL.


Strong safety free agents to consider

Mike Brown (UFA)

Positives: He has 17 career interceptions in five seasons.

Negatives:  He has missed 43 games in past 5 seasons due to injury. 


Sean Jones (UFA)

Positives: He has 13 career interceptions all in the past three seasons. Cleveland Browns’ pass defense ranked in top half of the league despite a four win season. 

Negatives: He was slowed by injuries this season missing four games. He has never played for a playoff team.


Lawyer Milloy (UFA)

Positives: The veteran has 25 career interceptions. Milloy is very durable despite age. 

Negatives: He has no more than two interceptions since he got four in 1999. He showed that he may be a little bit of a coverage liability in the playoff game against Arizona.


Jermaine Phillips (UFA)

Positives: Philips has 11 career interceptions, nine in the past three seasons. 

Negatives: He missed the last two games of 2008 because of broken arm. He has played only in Tampa’s zone defense. He may not be a good fit for whoever is the new defensive coordinator.


Kerry Rhodes (UFA)

Positives:  He is a four year veteran who has never missed a game and has started every game. Twelve career interceptions. 

Negatives: Jets have 29th ranked pass defense.


Darren Sharper (UFA)

Positives: He has only missed nine games in 12-year career and has 54 career interceptions.

Negatives: Sharper had only one interception this season.



The New Orleans Saints have to wait until the hiring of a new defensive coordinator and the beginning of free agency in order to pluck a coveted player.

It seems as if the Saints may place their free agency focus on strong safety rather than free safety because there aren’t many quality free safeties from which to choose.  The Saints may utilize their draft picks to acquire a free safety.