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Quintin Mikell Is A Free Agent, and (After Lockout) The Colts Should Sign Him

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PFT had an interesting story on now former-Eagles safety Quintin Mikell.

Whenever free agency begins, Eagles safety Quintin Mikell will be a free agent.  The fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t received a new deal means that he likely won’t.

And he knows it.

"This is part of the business, but this is why we are where we are," Mikell told Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  "This is why Reggie White fought for free agency, so you have the opportunity to make more money.  If you stay here, you’re going to make less money. . . .  It’s just business."

When the lockout ends and we finally get back to enjoying football (FYI: 2011 NFL Draft ratings were down one million viewers this year... take note Jerry Richardson and the other owners destroying this great game), one of the first 'business decisions' the Colts need to make is signing Mikell to a free agent contract.

While I know there are still people here who pine for Bob Sanders, the fact is Bob hasn't been worth a damn as a safety since 2007. Meanwhile, from 2007-2011, Quintin Mikell has been one of the best safeties in all of football.

Pro Football Focus (a 'stat geeks' site dedicated to watching every play for almost every player) has been a big fan of Mikell's for a while now, and based on how they have graded his game over the years, he'd make a great Tampa-2 strong safety. PFF ranks Mikell as the No. 1 safety in all of football.

1. Quintin Mikell, Philadelphia Eagles

Age as of September 1st, 2011: 30

2010 Grade: +17.6

Key Stat: PFF’s top-rated safety in 2010, he broke-up or intercepted 14 passes and earned 33 "stops".

Behind the numbers: The oldest guy on this list is at #1? Yes, his age has to be considered, but the performance he turned in this season trumps all else. Mikell was equally impressive as a run defender and as a cover man, leading our grading in both departments. With most safeties clearly stronger in one area or the other, Mikell stands out as a legit all-around talent and his eight seasons of experience position him well as a mentor if surrounded by youth. Because of his age, he won’t get the long deal that some others on this list will, but he’ll find a suitor happily willing to pay him handsomely to solidify their secondary.  

We’re big fans of Quintin Mikell in coverage and run support, but he’d do his profile some good by turning his blitzes into more pressure than the 9.43% he managed in his 53 opportunities.

With the Colts drafting Drake Nevis to go with Fili Moala, DeMario Pressley, Eric Foster, and (hopefully) Antonio Johnson (notice how Daniel Muir isn't listed), I feel reasonably good about the DT spot. It's safety that's the issue. Antoine Bethea is one of the best safeties in football (and curiously absent from PFF's top five). But, he isn't a strong safety. Melvin Bullitt is coming off a serious knee injury and has always had shoulder problems shoulder injury that landed him on IR last year. Aaron Francisco is a joke playing defense, but is a very good special teams player.

Strong safety is a big area of concern. Signing Quintin Mikell makes it a strength. Since the attitude of this franchise should be 'Super Bowl of Bust' this year (and every year after as long as Peyton Manning is still playing), Polian and son should move mountains to get Mikell. Since 2007, he's missed a grand total of three games. He's tough, durable, and can do all the things a Tampa-2 safety needs to do.

However, if he is signed, don't let him practice against Austin Collie.