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  • 2024 Safety Winners and Losers

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    Now that Free Agency and the NFL Rookie Draft are done, let's talk about the 2024 Safety Winners and Losers from a fantasy perspective!

    Free Agency is pretty much done. The 2024 NFL Rookie Draft is done. When we look at the Safety position for 2024, who comes out shining like a star? With all things factored in, who will have a tough road ahead of them?

    First, let us take a look at the winners in the Safety position. They could be winners because of multiple factors. The player moved to a team with a very large need. Their team did not use any rookie picks in their position. The main competition for snaps has moved on to a new home. Let's get to the 2024 Safety Winners and Losers!

    Winners in the Safety Position for 2024

    1) Taylor Rapp-Buffalo Bills

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    Rapp was a second-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 2019. In the 4 years with the Rams, Rapp produced 92 or more tackles in 3 out of the 4 years in Los Angeles. He produced 23 passes defended and 9 interceptions in those 4 years. This was good enough for Rapp to get a one-year prove-it deal worth $1.77 million from the Bills in 2023.

    With Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde still holding onto a majority of the snaps, Rapp only played when one or the other missed snaps due to injury. That gave Rapp 35% of the snaps on the season. In those limited snaps, Rapp produced 50 tackles. That is dang near a 150-tackle pace. For a Safety, that is Top-3 status. Poyer has moved on to the Miami Dolphins. Hyde is 33 years old, and the writing is on the wall with the drafting of Cole Bishop in the second round of this past NFL draft.

    2) Xavier McKinney-Green Bay Packers

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    McKinney leaves a good situation in New York and steps into a great situation in Green Bay. Half of the NFC North Division QBs will be rookies. McKinney will feast on them and look to contain the Lions. The second-round pick in 2020 had two of his seasons where he played all games. In those two seasons combined, McKinney had a combined 209 tackles, 21 passes defended, and 8 interceptions.

    The Packers' Safeties produced 230 tackles last year. Rookie Javon Bullard will team up with McKinney to produce most of the Safety statistics in 2024 with Rudy Ford playing backup. McKinney should see a new career high in tackles and interceptions.

    3) Jalen Pitre-Houston Texans

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    Pitre exploded onto the scene as a second-round rookie in 2022. He posted an incredible 147 tackles and 5 interceptions in that rookie year. Some questioned his efficiency and whether the new Texans coaching staff would put up with it.

    Year two had Pitre slowdown in statistics delivered. Just over half the tackles and zero interceptions had the masses wondering if Pitre and his rookie year were just an anomaly and we would never see him in the top 12 rankings ever again. This offseason has brought no real competition in by free agency or draft. The Texan's third-round pick of Calen Bullock is more of insurance and internship behind Jimmy Ward. Pitre looks to have weathered the storm and earned DeMeco Ryans's trust.

    4) Jeremy Chinn-Washington Commanders

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    Chinn was another of the Safeties who burst onto the scene in his first two years with the Carolina Panthers. He produced 224 tackles and 5 turnovers in those 2 years. 2022 had Chinn miss six games with a hamstring injury. 2023 had him miss five games with a quad injury. That was the beginning of the end of Chinn in Carolina as he played less than 24% of the snaps in 4 of the last 6 games of the 2023 season.

    Enter an opportunity with the Commanders via a Safety exit. Their leading solo tackler on defense, Kamren Curl, has moved on to the Los Angeles Rams. Chinn could and should return to his first two years status in the IDP community.

    5) Brandon Jones-Denver Broncos

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    Jones was a former third-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2020. He played all four years there and never really cemented a place in the defensive backfield for them. A torn ACL in Week 7 of the 2022 season did not help. The Dolphins would sign DeShon Elliott for the 2023 season, and the only snaps Jones would get would be injury replacement. He would play 46% of the defensive snaps and produce only 48 tackles.

    The Denver Broncos would release Justin Simmons and have a gaping hole in their Safety room. They would sign Jones to a three-year, $20 million deal. The opportunity could not be higher and the 70 tackles up for grabs would be a career-high for Jones.

    Losers in the Safety Position for 2024

    1)Darnell Savage-Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Savage was supposed to be set at Safety for the Packers for 10+ years. He never quite lived up to the first-round expectations of the Packers. His best year was 2020 with 75 tackles and lived in the 50s for three other years. He needed a new home for 2024.

    The Jaguars would have an opening with Rayshawn Jenkins moving on to the Seahawks. They signed Savage to a three-year, $21 million contract, but only $12.5 million guaranteed. The Jaguars have Andre Cisco returning and also second-year player Antonio Johnson. Savage should start as the nickel back with Johnson and Cisco commanding the majority of snaps.

    2) Sydney Brown-Philadelphia Eagles

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    The third-round pick from last year was supposed to be the Safety in waiting. Unfortunately, Brown tore his ACL at the end of the 2023 season. He was not getting a whole lot of snaps prior to that anyway. Last year's starter Kevin Byard left and signed with the Chicago Bears. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was signed to fill that hole. Cooper DeJean was drafted as the new Safety in waiting. That does not leave much room or promise for Brown.

    3) Vonn Bell-Cincinnati Bengals

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    After averaging 96 tackles a year for the Bengals from 2020-2022, Bell signed a three-year contract with the Panthers. He proceeded to have the worst year of his career. The Panthers released him and Bell re-signed with the Bengals for 2024. The problem is that the Bengals have a stud safety duo in the youngsters of Daxton Hill and Jordan Battle. How many snaps will be left over? The Bengals also signed Geno Stone, which makes for a very crowded Safety room.

    Thank you for checking out my 2024 Safety Winners and Losers article! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please consider becoming a subscriber!


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