It's not exactly on top of the team's priority list, but I'm still skeptical of the idea that the Atlanta Falcons will go into 2011 with only Rafael Bush and Shann Schillinger as backup safeties.
The reasons for my skepticism are twofold. One, the Falcons know that Thomas DeCoud faltered a bit in 2010 and William Moore comes equipped with a significant injury history. As talented as they are, you don't want to back that duo up with two unproven players. Two, the team has plenty of cap room under a new collective bargaining agreement, and that gives them room to address the relatively cheap position of safety easily.
So I'm bringing up Chinedum Ndukwe, who will likely be a free agent under a new CBA. Ndukwe is 26 years old, has 181 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 18 passes defensed and six interceptions in pieces of four seasons, some of them as a starter. At an imposing 6'2", 224 pounds, Ndukwe is extremely solid in tackling and is far from an embarrassment in pass coverage.
Look, I don't think this guy is a magic bullet for the pass defense or anything like that. I'm simply advocating for him as a talented, reasonably priced super-backup at both safety spots. I think he could be lured to Atlanta and would be an immediate upgrade, allowing Schillinger to concentrate on special teams, where he's a beast. We'll have to wait until free agency to see if this is even being discussed in the war room at Flowery Branch, but I do think it makes some sense.
What say you?