Advertisement

Packers considered ‘threat’ in safety market, possibly eyeing top targets

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports the Green Bay Packers are considered a “threat” by other teams in the market for a safety, and Fowler believes the Packers could be eyeing a few of the top targets, including Xavier McKinney, Kamren Curl and Quandre Diggs.

From Fowler: “Green Bay is considered a threat in the safety market. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Packers comb the Xavier McKinney and Kamren Curl markets, depending on the price point. Recently released safety Quandre Diggs could also be an option.”

The report comes as no surprise. The Packers had average safety play a year ago, are transitioning to a new defense under Jeff Hafley and have Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford and Jonathan Owens headed for unrestricted free agency. Maybe no team — at least no contender — needs a veteran safety quite like the Packers. And they are ready to dip their toes into free agency to see if a reasonable answer (or two) can be found.

Brian Gutekunst is well positioned — with cap space to spend, ways to create more cap space and 11 draft picks — to continue building his roster. The Packers could team a veteran signing with a draft pick at safety, or sign two safeties to provide more flexibility in the draft.

McKinney is the big fish in the safety pond. He’s an ascending 24-year-old who can handle all the roles of a modern NFL safety. Plugging in McKinney as one of the two starters for Hafley for 2024 could help transform a defense that was often too passive last season.

Don’t sleep on Curl, another 2020 draft pick who Gutekunst might see as the second coming of Adrian Amos. He’s reliable in all aspects of playing safety and could be on the verge of a breakout as his rookie deal expires.

The veteran safety market entering free agency is loaded with options, including Diggs. If the Packers don’t find the prices right at the top, Gutekunst could look to several recently released veterans for help. Justin Simmons, an All-Pro, is another possibility.

Regardless of the path forward, expect Gutekunst and the Packers to add at least one safety during the early portion of free agency. The roster has a need, and the options are many. The only question: Will Gutekunst go hunting for a difference maker like McKinney? Answers will start arriving next week.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire