There are plenty of differences between Tre Boston, Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell, Eric Reid and Kenny Vaccaro, but one thing all the veteran safeties have in common is the lack of a job for the 2018 season.
The free agent market for safeties never took flight this offseason and those five players are still looking for work after the end of offseason programs. Mitchell, who was released by the Steelers in March, said on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez and Brad Hopkins that the group is “just being as patient as possible” when it comes to landing with teams.
Mitchell said he “can’t really put a finger” on why things have not developed, but did offer one theory.
“Our sport isn’t like basketball, it isn’t like baseball where contracts are guaranteed, so definitely the teams are taking advantage of the leverage that they have and they don’t have to sign guys,” Mitchell said. “They can obviously go out and get cheaper, younger players, I guess, if that’s what they want to do. I think there’s something to be said about the veteran talent that’s out there, still a lot of guys that have played this game awhile and just done it at a high level for a long time, so we’ll just see how the rest of the summer plays out.”
There’s little choice for any of the safeties other than to hold fast and wait to see if things loosen up as teams take stock of their secondaries heading into training camp and the regular season. It seems likely that some of the players named above will find work, but the last few months suggest it may not wind up being a clean sweep.