Terms: Four years
ESPN 150 ranking: 26
Grade: B-plus. The Jacksonville Jaguars needed an upgrade at strong safety, and they accomplished that by landing Barry Church. He was regarded as the second-best safety available, behind Tony Jefferson. At 6-foot-1, 222 pounds, Church is a physical player who can play in the box but isn’t a liability in coverage.
What it means: You can say goodbye to Johnathan Cyprien, the Jaguars' second-round draft pick in 2013. The team was letting him test the market in free agency, anyway, but GM Dave Caldwell said last week that Jacksonville would be interested in having him come back. Getting Church probably means you can cross off safety as a position the Jaguars will target with the fourth overall pick next month. Church also gives the Jaguars more flexibility, because he’s much better in coverage than Cyprien. Now the Jaguars can be more creative in how they use free safety Tashaun Gipson, who last season was used nearly exclusively as a single-high safety to help the defense eliminate big plays.
What’s the risk: There’s minimal risk with this signing. Church, who turned 29 in February, is an upgrade from Cyprien and has shown to be durable. He did miss four games last season but has missed just five over the past four seasons. While he’s not a long-term solution, he can give the Jaguars two to three good years before they have to find a replacement. Church is a sound tackler, too. He finished second in tackles for Dallas last season despite missing four games. He also had a team-high two interceptions -- the same number Cyprien had in four seasons -- and has five interceptions and eight forced fumbles in seven seasons.