Iloka, 26 at the end of the month, is poised to receive a nice deal this offseason thanks to his ability and young age. This past season, the strong safety appeared in 12 games (all starts) and recorded 47 total tackles with four pass deflections and one interception. Pro Football Focus (sub. required) rated Iloka as the 15th best safety in the NFL last year, placing him behind fellow unrestricted free agents Reggie Nelson and Rodney McLeod.
As far as we’re concerned, Iloka was the best free agent safety on the open market this offseason. Our top five has Iloka at No. 1, followed by Eric Weddle, McLeod, Tashaun Gipson, and Reggie Nelson. Nelson led the league in interceptions and made the Pro Bowl last season, but Iloka is seven years younger and therefore has more earning power. Iloka, of course, also has the age advantage over longtime Charger Weddle.
The Bengals retained one priority free agent in Iloka, but they lost another one on Wednesday morning when Marvin Jones signed with the Lions. Mohamed Sanu is being pursued by the Patriots and other clubs, so the Bengals could have to pony up significant cash if they want to keep him.
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