Packers named 'ideal fit' for another star safety in free agency

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers upgraded the secondary in free agency by signing the best safety on the market, Xavier McKinney. However, the work isn't over.

Green Bay still needs to figure out the other starting position while adding much-needed depth at safety. Outside of McKinney, the only safeties on the roster are Anthony Johnson, Zayne Anderson, Tyler Coyle, and Benny Sapp III.

Last year's starters, Darnell Savage and Jonathan Owens, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, respectively.

General manager Brian Gutekunst said they would prefer to add a "younger guy" with "his best football ahead of him," which indicates drafting a player. However, it's far from guaranteed the Packers will land their top target in a thin safety class, and there are still options in free agency.

Packers are an 'ideal fit' for All-Pro safety Justin Simmons

The Packers could ease the pressure on draft day by taking safety off the to-do list. Four-time All-Pro Justin Simmons would be a perfect partner for McKinney, and the former third-round pick remains available.

It's a surprise that Simmons is still unsigned. He is coming off his third straight second-team All-Pro selection and the fourth of his career. Bleacher Report's Brad Gagnon named the Packers an "ideal fit."

"The Green Bay Packers are an ideal fit for Simmons, who would bring veteran leadership and would team up with Xavier McKinney to form an incredible safety duo," writes Gagnon.

That's 100 percent correct. A combination of Simmons and McKinney would be as good as any in the league. They combined for six interceptions last season—the Packers only had seven as a team. Simmons has plenty of experience playing as a single-high safety, which we will see plenty of in Green Bay's new-look defense under Jeff Hafley.

Like McKinney, Simmons offers versatility. He can play deep, in the box, or even as the slot corner. And despite turning 30 last season, Simmons is still on top of his game.

It's understandable why the Packers would prefer to add a player via the draft, especially after making McKinney one of the highest-paid safeties in the league, but it's not necessarily that simple. Finding a Day 1 starter won't be easy.

Simmons is the perfect solution.

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