Patchwork Solution: George Wilson
George Wilson was a cap casualty recently of the Buffalo Bills. He was the lesser-known of the Bills’ safety duo of Wilson and Byrd, but he has the hard-hitting, good-enough-in-coverage pedigree that Zimmer loves. A converted wide receiver out of Arkansas, Wilson has twice intercepted 4 passes in a season, and in one of those he had a couple sacks and forced a fumble.
Wilson is definitely more of a strong safety considering his straight-line, in the box mentality, but can sometimes display the ball-hawking prowess of a former wide receiver.
Against the Bengals in 2011, Wilson managed to pick off an underthrown Andy Dalton pass. It may have been due to Andre Caldwell’s route. Wilson, the safety closer to the line, met Caldwell at 12 yards from the line of scrimmage. Caldwell stopped like he was going to break in, but then gained more depth while crossing the middle.
Wilson spied Dalton as soon as Caldwell broke inward and undercut the route, knowing he had safety help over the top. While not displaying the most fluid coverage ability, his awareness allowed him to intercept the errant pass.
In this stop at the line of scrimmage against the Arizona Cardinals, Wilson showed off what is possible when in the perfect situation to use his skill set. He immediately saw the run blocking and took off for the line of scrimmage. Even though Arizona had the front seven completely blocked, Wilson diagnosed the play and flew towards the hole.
Even though the ball carrier still gained a few yards after contact, Wilson was still able to turn what could have been a breakaway run into one that never really got started.
Wilson is likely going to be available for a bargain price, but he will be turning 32 and would be yet another stopgap solution. If he, or another safety like him, were to be signed, one of the higher-end safeties in this year’s draft will likely be drafted within the first two days.