Cowboys safety Jeff Heath underwent successful surgery on his left shoulder today and hopes to avoid a surgery on his right shoulder this offseason. The fact that he had surgery on one shoulder, and there is a question of doing one on his other shoulder, shows you just how banged up the starting safety was by the end of the year. Kudos to him for toughing it out.
Now he heads into free agency this offseason and with the big changes in the Cowboys coaching staff, his future is unknown. The previous coaching regime seemed to have a real soft spot for Heath, all the way from his undrafted free agent days to his elevation to starting safety. The problem was, to most observers, that Heath was on the low end of starting safeties. It would be hard to believe that the incoming defensive coaches would want to settle for Heath as one of the starters if they could upgrade in free agency or the draft.
Where Heath is valuable, though, is on special teams. He is athletic and can put a pop on someone, so his ability to cover punts and kicks along with other things, like occasionally being the emergency kicker, could interest the Cowboys. This may be valuable for incoming special teams coach Jim Fassel. He would also be a decent depth player at safety.
The question is will he get an offer from another team with an opportunity to compete for a starting position. That generally is measured by the size of a contract. Heath’s cap hit in 2019 was $2.7 million which is obviously on the low end for a starter. That contract was originally signed in 2016.
Heath had a habit of coming up with a few big plays every year, but overall his consistency as a starter certainly came into question.
So BTB, would you try to sign Heath for depth and his special teams ability, or would you make a clean break?
The Cowboys should:
This poll is closed
offer Heath a small contract for special teams
let Heath walk