If the NY Giants are actually targeting a free safety in free agency, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should be on the shortlist.
It’s been a few years since the NY Giants have had a rangy free safety that the defense could trust to be the last line of defense. Funny enough, that player has a lot in common with a current free agent, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
If the Giants were to take a stab at Clinton-Dix, the parallels between him and Antrel Rolle would be uncanny. Both would have been playing the first year of their contract with Big Blue as 28-year-old former high draft picks, who enjoyed success early in their careers while possessing a bunch of untapped potential.
Both Dix and Rolle made one Pro Bowl in their first five seasons, with Clinton-Dix also chipping in an All-Pro nod in 2016. Now, I’m not saying the former Alabama stud will turn out just like Rolle did for the NY Giants, but he surely has the potential to be a ballhawk and turn the defense around just the way Rolle did.
For some reason, Clinton-Dix didn’t attract much interest in his first year on the free agency market in 2019, scoring only a one-year $3M contract. Entering the prime of his career with an All Pro-Nod under his belt to go along with back-to-back solid campaigns in 2018/2019, the 28-year-old can expect to find a warmer market this year.
While Julian Love certainly presents an in-house option for Big Blue, Clinton-Dix is a proven NFL commodity; Love could also move back to nickel corner where he’s played most of his career.
Clinton-Dix enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2019 with the Bears, accumulating a 74.2 overall Pro Football Focus grade to go along with a 75.5 coverage grade. The safety allowed just 24 receptions against him in 16 starts.
There are many attractive names on the free safety list this year in free agency, but few come with the upside and proven abilities of Clinton-Dix.
Hypothetical Giants offer: 4 years/$24M ($16M GTD)