The new NFL year begins Wednesday, March 17, and with it, the advent of 2021's free agent marketplace. Leading up to that first day, we'll examine the landscape from a Patriots perspective, continuing with safeties.
PATRIOTS FREE AGENTS
Terrence Brooks, Cody Davis
OTHER NOTABLE NFL FREE AGENTS
Keanu Neal (Atlanta Falcons), Tashaun Gipson (Chicago Bears), Karl Joseph (Cleveland Browns), Xavier Woods (Dallas Cowboys), Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos), Duron Harmon (Detroit Lions), Michael Thomas (Houston Texans), George Iloka (Minnesota Vikings), Marcus Maye (New York Jets)
Brooks, Harmon, P.J. Williams (New Orleans Saints), DeAndre Houston-Carson (Chicago Bears), Shawn Williams (Cincinnati Bengals), Will Parks (Denver Broncos), Daniel Sorensen (Kansas City Chiefs), John Johnson (L.A. Rams), Rayshawn Jenkins (L.A. Chargers), Anthony Harris (Minnesota Vikings), Marcus Williams (New Orleans Saints), Jalen Mills (Philadelphia Eagles)
At safety, much could depend on how much this past year off has affected Patrick Chung, who reportedly has decided to return from opting out of 2020 because of COVID-19. But even if he does win his old job back, the Patriots might want to add to the depth here by going with a veteran free agent in the Adrian Phillips mold (Shawn Williams, Karl Joseph, for example). There's a significant number of players who are also younger and entering the prime of their careers who might also be attractive if New England wants to go younger at this position (Woods, John Johnson, Jenkins, etc.).
Then, you have former Patriot Duron Harmon, who could very easily assimilate back into the New England defense after a short time away (much like Chung did when he signed with the Eagles many years ago and returned to the Patriots not long after). My guess is, New England will add a player or two at safety this offseason, though I'd be surprised if the Patriots spent too heavily on this position.
Davis, meantime, is listed on the roster as a safety, but his primary role is on special teams. We address his specific situation in an earlier post on specialists.