Jack Del Rio simply said "No," when asked if Gerald Alexander had won the starting safety job, and in reality no one's won a job at either safety spot. "Hopefully they won’t be open. When we’re done with this game we’ll be able to settle that," Del Rio said on Wednesday.
"I mean everyone brings their own, different thing to the safety position. You’ve got Gerald [Alexander] and myself and Sean [Considine], Reggie [Nelson], Courtney [Greene], everyone has their own little niche and what they can bring to the table. It all depends on what the coaches want out there," safety Anthony Smith commented on the safety group as a whole.
I covered this a little earlier in the week, but it's more and more apparent the Jacksonville Jaguars will make a move at safety. On Monday night, general manager Gene Smith hinted at such a move. Jaguars.com editor Vic Ketchman mentioned to Gene Smith about trading picks for a player, such as a safety, and Gene Smith quasi-acknowledged the possibility but also said not to rule out player-for-player trades, which are exceedingly rare in the NFL.
The trick now is trying to figure out what pieces the Jaguars have to trade. Vince Manuwai? Reggie Nelson? Greg Jones? Justin Durant?
It's hard to peg a player the team has in mind when the GM says something like this, but it tells me something is in the works. Piggybacking off of some of the players I mentioned earlier in the week, I have a few more to throw into the ring.
First is Atari Bigby of the Green Bay Packers who was a restricted free agent. I asked Brandon Benson of AcmePackingCompany.com about his thoughts of the possibility of Atari Bigby not making the Packers roster:
Low. He didn't do himself any favors by remaining unsigned until the eve of training camp, staying away from all off-season activities, and then showing up with a bad ankle that needed surgery. But their depth at safety is thin and they can stash him on the PUP to start the season since he hasn't passed his physical yet. I'd be surprised if they gave up on him.
I don't expect Bigby to be outright released, but with the emergence of rookie Morgan Burnett it's possible it will make Bigby a little easier to part with potentially in a trade.
Another player to look at is C.J. Spillman of the San Diego Chargers. He played in only five games for the Chargers last season, starting just one, but it's possible he's on the bubble in San Diego. Spillman is a young player with upside, which again throws him right into the hodge podge of Jaguars current group of safeties. I've asked John from BoltsFromTheBlue.com for a comment on Spillman. It's way too early over there, so I'll add his response when the left coast wakes up.
UPDATE: 10:14 AM
C.J. Spillman isn't really on the bubble. The Chargers love his potential and his enthusiasm on special teams (he's seen as the replacement for Kassim Osgood). Last year the team kept 6 Safeties and 3 CBs on the final roster. This year I think it'll be more like 5 Safeties and 4 CBs, each for different reasons. Here's our safeties:
- Eric Weddle - Obviously being kept, Pro Bowl talent.
- Darrell Stuckey - Rookie that was drafted to start at SS this year.
- Steve Gregory - Can play FS, SS and nickel CB well. Is the backup plan for injury and also in case Stuckey doesn't get it fast enough.
- Paul Oliver - A long-term project of the Chargers finally looks comfortable at FS, he seems like the most likely backup plan for if Weddle doesn't re-sign with the Chargers next year. There's a very remote chance he gets cut.
- CJ Spillman - See above. He's meant to replace Osgood, and is also a long-term project to eventual take one of the Safety spots if one ever opens up again.
- Quinton Teal - Signed two weeks ago, I think he's a long-shot to make the roster. He's spent the last few seasons as a backup on Carolina. I know very little about Teal, but he's looked good in practice and on special teams in the preseason, He's probably the one you want to keep an eye on.
There were some rumblings someone like Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders could be on the bubble, but from what I've been told is he's slated to be the starter again in Oakland and the staff has liked what they have seen from him so far. Hiram Eugene, also of the Oakland Raiders is a possibility for a trade candidate, which is fine with me since the Jaguars have sort of fleeced the Raiders in two trades this off-season. I've also asked Raymond from SilverAndBlackPride.com for a comment on Eugene and Huff. Like John, he's a left coaster so we'll need to give him time to crawl out of bed.
I would mention the Indianapolis Colts safeties, but it's highly unlikely they part with any of them or help out a divisional foe.
Michael Holman did mention Bigby on Twitter last night after Burnett's INT, so I will give him credit for that.