Green Bay Packers named as potential landing spot for star free-agent safety

The Green Bay Packers signed top-flight safety Xavier McKinney in free agency earlier this month, but it would still behoove them to add another safety to their defensive backfield.

Nick Pedone of Pro Football Network names the Packers as a potential landing spot for Justin Simmons, who was released by the Denver Broncos this offseason.

Simmons is probably the best safety remaining on the market and is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he played 15 games and registered 70 tackles, a sack, three interceptions, a couple of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and eight passes defended en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.

So, why is the 30-year-old still unsigned?

Simmons is likely biding his time and waiting for the best-case scenario to open up for him. He is a seasoned veteran, and at this point of his career, he almost surely wants to play for a contender.

The Boston College product was selected by the Broncos in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

By his second season, he was a full-time starter, and that year, he posted 69 tackles, a sack, a pair of picks, five passes defended and a defensive touchdown.

After a couple of more really impressive campaigns, Simmons made his first Pro Bowl in 2020 after racking up 96 tackles, five interceptions, a fumble recovery and nine passes defended.

Between 2019 and 2022, Simmons accumulated an impressive 20 picks and led the league with six interceptions in the latter season.

The Packers’ passing defense ranked ninth in the NFL this past year, so it’s not like Green Bay is severely lacking quality players in its secondary.

However, it is currently employing 2023 seventh-round draft pick Anthony Johnson Jr. as one of its starting safeties, so it can use an upgrade.

Perhaps Simmons can represent that answer for the Packers.

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