Safety Stevie Brown quickly became a New York Giants fan favorite in 2012. This was following a semi-nomadic first two years in the NFL, where he was a journeyman looking to find his professional football niche. However, in 2012—his third year in the league—Brown broke out in an eight interception season that saw him earning starting honors opposite of Antrel Rolle. Earlier this offseason, Brown signed a restricted free agent tender that would make it difficult for him to relocate to a different NFL team.
Rolle—a prized free agent signing from 2010—recorded 96 tackles playing the free safety position and furthered his status as a respected leader on the defensive unit. Moreover, the sum of his tackles would end up being second only to now- Carolina Panthers’ linebacker Chase Blackburn. While he only recorded two interceptions, it could be argued that he was often overcompensating for the mediocre play of New York’s cornerbacks.
The NFC is quickly becoming filled with threatening safety tandems. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be fielding safeties Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron in 2013. In the Pacific Northwest, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas will be lurking in the backfields of the Seattle Seahawks’ self-proclaimed “Legion of Boom.” However, going into 2013, the Giants new safety tandem could be one that competes for a status that ranks among the league’s elite. Brown will be more cerebral after spending a full year in the Giants defensive system, and Rolle will benefit from a unit that was upgraded during the offseason via the NFL Draft and Free Agency.