Three safety's the Dolphins should consider in free agency

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

With several teams needing to be below the NFL salary cap before March 13, various players have found themselves on the chopping block. Some players did not have their contracts renewed and thus entered the free agent market looking for a new home.

With Miami’s cap situation still needing an overhaul, the Dolphins must be wise with their spending. The 2024 NFL Draft is 46 days away and how Miami fares in free agency will determine what they do in the draft.

Jevon Holland was one of the top-rated safeties in the NFL for 2023. Miami recently resigned Elijah Campbell but this safeties impact has been better suited for special teams.

Miami needs to add a safety to run opposite Jevon Holland. Here are 3 safeties Miami should pursue in free agency to help improve their defense.

The first free agent safety Miami should sign or consider signing is Brandon Jones. Brandon should be a top priority for Miami come Monday.

Drafted by the Dolphins in 2020, Miami is the only place Jones has called home. Jones has been a solid contributor on defense since being in Miami; playing a significant role every season before and after his ACL injury.

The 2023 season saw Jones improve his coverage and pass rush skills despite returning from a torn ACL in 2022. Jones is currently 25 and is one of the youngest free-agent safeties in 2024.

Brandon ranked in the top 20 among safeties in coverage and pass rush. Jones finished the 2023 season with 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 48 tackles. Opposing quarterbacks also had a 62.2 QB rating when targeting Brandon Jones.

Another safety the Dolphins could target in free agency is Justin Simmons. The former Denver Bronco is a 2-time Pro Bowl selection and has been named a second-team All-Pro 4 times in 5 seasons.

Simmons finished the 2023 season with 3 interceptions, the first time in five years he had anything less than four. Simmons ranked among the best safeties in run defense; something Miami should look into with the possible departure of Christian Wilkins. 

At 30-years old, Simmons is older than some of the premier safeties on the market. His aggressiveness and ball-hawking skills are worth consideration. 

Kevin Byard is the oldest of the safeties in this group. Byard is currently 30 years old and will be 31 come the beginning of the 2024 season.

Byard was traded by the Titans to Philadelphia midway through the 2023 season. Byard was the second-best tackling safety in 2023 behind Xavier McKinney.

Byard is a stout run defender, lining up in the box 378 times. With Byard missing tackles less than 6% of the time he would be great run support should Miami lose Andrew Van Ginkel and Christian Wilkins.

Any one of these three safeties would be a welcome addition to Anthony Weaver’s new defense. Price tag, health, performance, and age will all be deciding factors.

The Dolphins have plenty of needs on their roster. Getting the right safety in free agency is one less need in April’s draft.