The Indianapolis Colts drafted former Ohio State Buckeyes star safety Malik Hooker in the first round last year, and now they’re looking at getting him an experienced mentor in versatile New Orleans Saints defensive back Kenny Vaccaro, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
Vaccaro previously met with the Miami Dolphins back before the 2018 NFL Draft, but they decided not to sign him and ended up drafting a player with a similar skills set in Alabama Crimson Tide standout Minkah Fitzpatrick. While Vaccaro has played more traditional safety than Fitzpatrick, they are both at their best when defending the slot to match them up against smaller receivers and keep them closer to the line of scrimmage.
It sucks that the Saints didn’t re-sign Vaccaro when his contract expired, especially because I was gifted his #32 jersey just last Christmas. But the former first round pick struggled to be a difference-maker outside the slot, and was benched on a couple of different occasions over the last few years. His laundry-list of injuries, untimely 2016 suspension, and penalty magnetism just made him too expendable.
This came after a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Colts will be meeting with safety Tre Boston, a four-year veteran who has previously started for the Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers.
Former Chargers and Panthers safety Tre Boston is visiting the Colts today, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 14, 2018
Like Vaccaro, Boston is young (turning 26-years old next June) and had his best statline last season with five interceptions, eight other pass breakups, and 79 combined tackles. The depressed free agent market for safeties has been a puzzling storyline this spring.
Hooker was lost to a torn ACL and MCL just seven games into last season, so it makes sense for the Colts to be looking for help at the position. The window for free agent signings to count towards the 2019 NFL Draft compensatory pick formula closed back on May 8, so the Saints will not receive anything if Vaccaro is signed away by the Colts or another team.