NFL Strong Safety

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

The NFL Strong Safety is an important position in American Football that requires a mix of physical strength, agility, speed, and strategic thinking. Their primary role is to provide support to the defense team by stopping the opponent's offensive plays while keeping a close watch on their movements. The NFL Strong Safety job description includes tackling running backs, intercepting passes, and sometimes covering wide receivers. Strong Safeties must have excellent communication skills to coordinate with their teammates and analyze the opponent's game plan. They also need to be quick on their feet to adjust their strategies on the field. Being a Strong Safety requires a lot of hard work, discipline, and focus to excel in this competitive industry. It is a demanding position that offers great opportunities for those who are passionate about American Football.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Helps defend against the run game by tackling running backs
  • Assists in pass defense by covering tight ends and wide receivers in the middle of the field
  • Provides support to the linebackers to stop the run game
  • Can blitz the quarterback to disrupt their passing game
  • Must have good awareness and read plays quickly to react accordingly
  • Helps set the tone for the defense by playing aggressively and physically
  • Must have strong communication with the other defensive players to coordinate their movements
  • Highly physical position that requires toughness and durability
  • Often responsible for calling defensive plays and adjusting the defense based on the offense's formation and tendencies

Experience and Education Requirements

To become an NFL strong safety, you need to have a combination of education and experience. Most teams want you to have at least a high school diploma or GED. But, having a college degree in sports science, physical education or a related field, can give you an advantage over other applicants. 

In terms of experience, playing high school and college football is important. Scouts and coaches look for players with good athletic ability, strong tackling skills, and football IQ. Some athletes transfer to the NFL after a few years in the minor leagues or semi-professional teams.

It's also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by staying in shape, eating well, and practicing good sportsmanship. Once you've got the education and experience, the ability to work well with others and to communicate effectively is essential to succeed on the NFL field.

Salary Range

In the world of professional sports, a NFL Strong Safety is responsible for defending against the opposing team's running game and also helps in pass coverage. If you're curious about the NFL Strong Safety salary range in the United States, it is estimated to be between $500,000 to $7,500,000 for the 2021 season, depending on experience and performance. However, keep in mind that the salaries of NFL players can vary widely based on many factors, including their team, league performance, and contract negotiations. 

For example, Tyrann Mathieu, a Strong Safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, signed a 3-year contract in 2019 valued at $42 million, with a $14.8 million signing bonus, averaging $14 million per year. Meanwhile, Earl Thomas III, a Strong Safety for the Baltimore Ravens, signed a 4-year contract in 2019 valued at $55 million, with a $22 million signing bonus, averaging $13.75 million per year. 

As for other countries, there is not much data available for the Strong Safety position specifically. However, it's important to note that American football is primarily played in the United States, and the NFL is the highest level of professional American football. 


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  • USA Today (

Career Outlook

The career outlook for an NFL Strong Safety is pretty good over the next 5 years, as it is expected to grow at an average rate of 5%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of athletes and sports competitors is projected to grow in the next decade due to increasing demand for sports events and the rise of new sports leagues.

Strong Safeties are an essential position in any football team, and their physically demanding role is highly sought after. The NFL is a highly competitive industry, and the need for talented athletes like Strong Safeties is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.

Additionally, with the increasing popularity of sports betting and fantasy sports, the demand for professional football players, including Strong Safeties, is expected to rise in the coming years, resulting in good job security and opportunities for growth.

To sum it up, the career outlook for an NFL Strong Safety looks promising with steady growth in the next 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a NFL strong safety do?

A: The primary job of a NFL strong safety is to stop the opposing team’s running game by tackling running backs and disrupting pass plays.

Q: Do they have any other responsibilities?

A: Yes, they are also responsible for covering tight ends and slot receivers and occasionally rushing the quarterback.

Q: How important is a strong safety to a football team?

A: Extremely important. They provide critical defensive support and help prevent the opposing team from scoring touchdowns.

Q: How do you become a strong safety?

A: It starts with playing organized football at a young age, followed by a strong high school and college career. From there, it’s about training hard and getting noticed by NFL scouts.

Q: What are some key skills for a strong safety to have?

A: A strong safety needs to have great speed, agility, and strength to be able to tackle effectively. They also need to be skilled at reading the opposing team’s offense and quickly reacting to plays.

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