Packers Ink Elite Safety to Massive 4-Year Deal, Fill Hole in Secondary - Sport News

Packers Ink Elite Safety to Massive 4-Year Deal, Fill Hole in Secondary

It took only a few hours after the opening of the NFL’s legal tampering period for the Green Bay Packers to secure one of the best safeties in free agency.

What is the Best Fit for Safety Xavier McKinney if Not the Giants?

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported via X on Monday, March 11 that the Packers have agreed in principle to a four-year deal with former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney.

“More Packers moves: Free-agent safety Xavier McKinney is signing a four-year, $68 million deal — a $17 million per year average — with the Green Bay Packers,” Schefter wrote. “Agent David Mulugheta confirmed the deal.”

The contract will not finalize until the new league year begins on Wednesday.

McKinney was among the best safeties in the NFL last season per advanced metrics provided by Pro Football Focus (PFF), which graded him out at 87.8 overall on a scale of 100. McKinney was a solid run defender from the defensive backfield and elite in coverage, per PFF.

Additionally, he finished the season with 94 solo tackles, including just 7 tackles missed, and 3 interceptions. McKinney allowed 33 receptions on 54 targets across 614 coverage snaps and allowed opposing quarterbacks a collective passer rating of 52.1, according to PFF.

Xavier McKinney Solidifies Packers’ Defensive Backfield After Darnell Savage Departs for AFC

Giants contract extension rumors for Xavier McKinney.

Safety was arguably the most vital position for Green Bay to address considering all the losses in the defensive backfield. Chief among them is former first-round draft pick and five-year starter Darnell Savage, who has agreed in principle to a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“The #Jaguars aren’t done: Sources say they are signing former #Packers S Darnell Savage to a 3-year deal,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported via X on Monday.

Former Packers safeties Jonathan Owens and Rudy Ford are also heading elsewhere in free agency, which makes McKinney’s presence in the secondary all the more important for Green Bay.

“McKinney can play both safety spots, with the ability to cover down and create range in the post,” Matt Bowen of ESPN wrote in February. “He had three interceptions last season with the Giants, and I see him as a good fit for a Packers defense that will change its coverage and pressure tendencies under defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.”

Packers Clear Cap Space for Xavier McKinney Via 2 High-Profile Cuts

David Bakhtiari, Packers

Green Bay was one of the more active teams on the de facto opening day of free agency, clearing space for McKinney and other additions — namely former Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs — by cutting high-profile players who had long been franchise tentpoles.

Specifically, the Packers cut five-time All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and running back Aaron Jones — the two most meaningful departures by far.

Bakhtiari was always likely to go, given his release saved Green Bay nearly $21 million against the salary cap. The Packers were in talks with Jones about an extension, but those conversations broke down, which led to his release.

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