FOXBORO, MA - FILE: Brandon Meriweather #31 of the New England Patriots reacts with teammate James Sanders #36 after Meriweather intercepted a pass against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. According to reports on March 10, 2011, Meriweather allegedly shot two men on February 27, 2011 in Apopka, Florida. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
A quick update about the most recent move the by the Denver Broncos and it involves free agent safety Brandon Meriweather visiting the Broncos. Now let's take a quick review of Meriweather and look at what this means for the Broncos.
Jan 14, 1984
Meriweather was one the highest profiled safeties in the late-2000's and after a slow start had three very good seasons in New England, making two Pro Bowls behind his physical style of play. But after a solid 2010 season, the Patriots felt they didn't need his assistance any further, and he spent 2011 with the Chicago Bears. After making few waves in training camp, he got lost among the safety shuffle in Chicago and struggled to earn a starting spot, despite the Bears lacking a lot of talent at safety.
- Physical, dominating safety who fits best as a strong safety in a Cover 2 like we have in Denver
- Still young with solid potential
- Fluid tackler
- Average in coverage, prefers making big plays over solid coverage, causing lots of blown coverages
- Questions about work ethic
- Has issues with missed tackles
While he would be a solid veteran to bring in to help Dawkins and Carter at strong safety, the Broncos are much weaker at full safety with really only David Bruton stepping up at the end of the season. The Broncos won't gain that leadership of Dawkins in Meriweather and they don't add the coverage ability this safety group has been lacking since Renaldo Hill retired. If the Broncos are looking for safety coverage help, this is a bad off-season, and if Xanders is desperate, Meriweather may be brought in as a mis-match full safety. Overall I'm a bit worried about this move, he struggled in Chicago's Cover 2 and was unable to beat out a weak safety group there. He adds potential, but caution should be exercised.
One likely scenario is that Denver simply wants to take a "watch and see" stance on two big issues: Dawkin's as-yet-unannounced retirement, and the grooming of Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore, the top two safeties in the 2011 draft class. Taking a flyer on Meriweather gives them some small amount of veteran protection if any of the three issues fail to bear Bronco fruit.