In his bid to be viewed as a safety rather than a cornerback, free agent Logan Ryan cited Kansas City Chiefs star Tyrann Mathieu as a comparable player for his skill set.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that Ryan wanted to be considered a safety by any prospective suitors:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Free agent Logan Ryan views himself as a safety, rather than the cornerback he’s generally listed as. To that end, his agent emailed all 32 GMs these top safety stats and asked them to compare his production. An interesting discussion to be sure as one of the top FAs looms. https://t.co/NZni6BYmND
The 29-year-old explained the situation further on Good Morning Football:
"Look at the numbers—100 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles, the pass break-ups, the INTs. I just feel like that's not really possible too much at just playing corner, so could a team move me around a lot? ... I was a versatile player, a matchup guy, similar to a Tyrann Mathieu, maybe a Justin Simmons. I feel like that was more the position I was playing last year for Dean Pees, as opposed to a true traditional corner, so it's hard to compare me to that."
When he was coming out of LSU, Mathieu was generally listed as a cornerback but considered to be a cornerback/safety hybrid. While officially recognized as a safety now, the two-time All-Pro can fulfill a number of duties based on whatever is needed of him.
Based on Ryan's production, he might be able to provide something similar to a team's secondary. He finished 2019 with 105 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and four interceptions.
Ryan has a strong case that penciling him in as a cornerback could limit his overall role and thus not play to his strengths. He was a capable pass defender while adequately guarding against the run for the Tennessee Titans.
Touchdown Wire's Doug Farrar explained that Ryan's mindset illustrates how teams are increasingly asking defensive backs to be more versatile, moving away from the traditional cornerback/safety dichotomy.
The question remains, however, how much Ryan lobbying on his own behalf will help considering most general managers have already cemented their secondary rotation ahead of the 2020 season.