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Free Agents: Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills and Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints
The Redskins have had the worst luck with safeties in the last few years, with Brandon Meriweather and Bacarri Rambo offering the latest disappointment. Meriweather can't tackle and is a liability in coverage, while Rambo proved unprepared for the starting free safety role in his rookie season.
Byrd is the top free safety on the market this offseason and rightfully so. He's entering the prime of his career, is a turnover machine and is likely the perfect player to fill the void in Washington's defensive backfield.
Jenkins is a lower-tier option on the market, especially now that the focus in New Orleans defensive backfield has shifted to the up-and-coming Kenny Vaccaro. But by no means is Jenkins a consolation prize.
What Jenkins lacks in sexy stats like turnovers and defensive touchdowns, he makes up for by being where he should be in coverage and making smart plays as opposed to going for the highlight-reel hit.
Draft Prospect: Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
The 5'10", 196-pound Ward is undersized for a safety, but he doesn't shy away from tackling or hitting, as evidenced by his tackling numbers: 95 tackles in 2013, 104 in 2012 and 100 in 2011.
His value, however, is in coverage.
Ward grabbed seven interceptions as a senior and would be excellent in the deep middle of the field, an area in which opposing passing offenses were especially ruthless last season in shredding the Redskins secondary. He should be available in the middle rounds assuming the position is not addressed via free agency.