Kenny Vaccaro is a name that entered free agency without much hype surrounding it. After spending the last five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Vaccaro is still waiting for a team to sign him. Free agency has not gone quickly for a couple of talented safeties, with Vaccaro and Eric Reid still searching for contracts.
Looking at the current teams in need of help at the safety position, one team seems to be a perfect fit for Vaccaro.
The Green Bay Packers have been much more active this offseason than they have been in a long time. Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson are the big free agency additions that the Packers have made, while Tramon Williams was also signed. Unfortunately, the Packers had to let Jordy Nelson go in order to create cap space for the moves that they have made.
Another key player from last season that has left the Packers is Morgan Burnett, who signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Losing Burnett has left the Packers with a hole alongside Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the Packers’ secondary at the safety position.
At just 27 years of age, Vaccaro would be an ideal long-term fit alongside Clinton-Dix. He has proven himself to be a playmaker, being able to land massive hits and also track the ball well and force interceptions.
Last season with the Saints, Vaccaro racked up 60 total tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, and seven defended passes. He may not be talked about as one of the top safeties in the NFL, but he is more than capable of being an upgrade for the current Packers’ defense.
Mike Pettine was hired this offseason to replace Dom Capers as the defensive coordinator in Green Bay. It was a move that made the Packers’ fan base excited to see what changes would be made defensively. Pettine is known for his hard-nosed defenses, which is a term that describes the way that Vaccaro plays.
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Vaccaro has not been the superstar safety that many thought he would be for New Orleans after being drafted with the No. 15 overall pick back in 2013. He has struggled with injuries and issues off the field that have resulted in suspensions. Despite the issues that he has had, the Packers should be interested.
No player can control injuries and many have bounced back from them to become key pieces with a fresh start. Perhaps a change of scenery could help Vaccaro do just that. As for his issues away from football, playing with a strong organization like the Packers could help keep Vaccaro on the straight and narrow.
There are a few other teams that could use a player like Vaccaro as well. If the Packers want to bring in a starting safety through free agency, they need to make a move in the near future.
Brian Gutekunst may also be willing to stand pat and let second-year safety Josh Jones take over the starting job, as Lombardi Ave took a closer look at. Jones showed major potential as a rookie in 2017, recording 71 tackles to go along with 2.0 sacks, an interception, and five defended passes. Green Bay could bring Vaccaro in while also utilizing Jones in quite a few other ways like he was last season.
All of that being said, it will be intriguing to see what the rest of the offseason has in store for the Packers. Green Bay has brought both Delvin Breaux and Jordan Matthews in for visits recently which signals that Gutekunst may not be done just yet. If Green Bay wants to make a splash at the back-end of their secondary, Vaccaro is a name that they should target.
Expect to hear news on Vaccaro in the near future. He is too talented to continue looking for a contract much longer.