Safety has never been an area the Jets invested heavily in, their last big contract dished out to a safety was that of Kerry Rhodes, and most agree that was a mistake. However through several stop-gaps we have managed, is this the year that we finally spend big at the position.
The one name that should draw interest is that of Byrd, however he is likely looking at close to $10 million per year, and the Jets may not want to invest that much money. So we climb down the ladder and we land at the feet of Whitner, a physical safety that will get you as many fines as interceptions, but he is pure intimidation.
However the interesting point is that Whitner was actually rated as the better safety by PFF. His coverage score was better and according to the ranking by PFF he was the better run stopper. He had two interceptions and 6 passes defended, to Byrd's 4 interceptions and 2 passes defended. Whitner allowed 2 touchdowns into his coverage while Byrd allowed just the one. Whitner missed 7 tackles while Byrd missed just the 3.
Whitner allowed just over a 50% completion percentage into his coverage and just 70 yards after the catch. He was penalised 7 times however most among active safeties.
The average salary for a top 10 safety is just a shade over $6 million, and I don't think anyone could argue that right now he isn't a top 10 safety. However would you take Whitner on perhaps a 4 year 35 million deal? What kind of salary would you be happy with for Whitner?