NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kenny Vaccaro says he believes fellow safety Eric Reid should be on a team playing in the NFL. Needing a job himself, the veteran is very happy that the Tennessee Titans signed him instead.
Vaccaro signed a one-year deal with the Titans on Saturday morning and was with them for individual drills at practice at Nissan Stadium hours later. He had been waiting for a team to sign him since his contract with New Orleans expired in March.
“This has been a long time coming for me,” Vaccaro said. “I was waiting on the right opportunity. I was fortunate that one opened up here and that we could get a deal done. I’m ready to work.”
The Titans also signed safety Jason Thompson after placing safety Johnathan Cyprien on injured reserve Friday with a torn left ACL.
Reid, who has been looking for a job since March himself, remains unsigned since his own rookie contract expired in March with the San Francisco 49ers. He filed a claim this spring after visiting with Cincinnati, arguing he was unsigned as a result of collusion by NFL owners over his protests of police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem.
“He’s a great man,” Vaccaro said of Reid. “He’s a good family man, and a great dude. He needs to be on a team. He’ll get on a team. I believe in him.”
Reid was headed to Nashville to work out for the Titans on Friday but reportedly had flight issues. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he’d leave questions on what happened to Reid’s workout to Reid and his agent and general manager Jon Robinson.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see him,” Vrabel said. “So that’s really all I can comment on. I’ll let Eric and his camp comment, and I’ll let Jon take care of it on our end.”
The 6-foot Vaccaro spent the past five years as a starter with New Orleans, starting 67 games with eight interceptions, 7 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles. The Saints drafted him 15th overall in 2013 out of Texas. Vrabel said Vaccaro didn’t look at times last year like the safety had earlier in his career but had a great workout for the Titans.
“So what we expect is that he’s a pro, and he comes in and learns what to do quickly,” Vrabel said. “We’ll work him in there and see where he can help us. He’s made plays in the National Football League, and it seems like he’s starting off with a great attitude.”
Vaccaro said he’s a competitive person who knows he has to catch up with his new teammates in a secondary featuring All-Pro safety Kevin Byard and cornerbacks Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson.
“There’s a lot of good players here,” Vaccaro said. “They’re loaded. Dean Pees’ defense, the stuff we’re going to run, it’s just a good fit. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I haven’t got to practice yet. I did a lot of different things at NOLA — nickel, dime, safety, back deep at some point, I’ve been in every situation.”
Thompson has spent time with New England, Chicago, Seattle and Dallas since coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2017.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.
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