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Needing a safety might not be that much unlike needing a running back

Houston Texans v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The reason that I haven’t endorsed paying a running back a high dollar amount or drafting one early is that it seems like there are enough running backs on the market that the cost of acquiring a good one has been very low. There are other factors too: the great running backs aren’t that much more productive than the average running backs is one. And another is that the position is so a) so dangerous and b) so dependent on physical abilities that hinge gravely on the health of your knees that it makes teams fearful of risking $12 million on a player at the position. It got so bad that a player who could conceivably claim that he was the best running back in the NFL had to sit out a whole season in the prime of his career because the system is so broken in that regard.

If a great player has to sit out because the player and the league are so far off on acceptable compensation, that tells me the system is broken.

I think it’s fair to wonder if the safety position is headed in a similar direction. A holdout could signal that players and teams aren’t on the same page in regards to acceptable compensation, and that’s what happened to Earl Thomas in 2018 and Kam Chancellor in 2015. Players accepting one-year deals could be a bad signal too, as Tyrann Mathieu found out last year. Getting cut while you’re still playing well, as Eric Weddle found out on Wednesday, is another bad sign. Good players not even finding a home until late in the year was the case for Eric Reid, Tre Boston, and Kenny Vaccaro in 2018. And teams letting good young players leave via the open market, like Landon Collins and Adrian Amos, says that the Seahawks aren’t the only team with an unhappy safety.

Thomas, Collins, Mathieu, Weddle, Amos, Boston, Vaccaro, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Darian Stewart, Jonathan Cyprien, Tashaun Gipson, Jimmie Ward. There are options. There are trade options. There will probably be so many options in fact that it wouldn’t surprise me if Pete Carroll and John Schneider look past them all and find an under the radar prospect who is being completely overlooked in a market where teams are being lax in regards to securing safeties and maybe that’s how they find the next Thomas or Chancellor.

I still think the best option for the Seahawks is Thomas, but they seem pretty calm about seeing that relationship end. It’s probably because there are so many other options and their comfort level seems to be shared around the league. I don’t know if it will ever get as bad as running back, but it’s clear that those positions are existing in the same realm.