Veteran Safety Kenny Vaccaro Shuns NFL Return in Favor of Esports

Kenny Vaccaro in 2018
Kenny Vaccaro in 2018. Photo by Jason Pohuski/CSM/Shutterstock (9808280dm)

Returning to the NFL isn’t among veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro’s priorities anymore. Instead, Vaccaro decided to shift his focus to esports and intends to launch his own esports organization Gamers First (G1).

Vaccaro, who most recently played with the Tennessee Titans during the 2020 NFL season, announced his decision on social media.

“Technically I am still a free agent,” Vaccaro said when contacted by ESPN. “But this is where my mind has been the past six months. I’m happy where I’m at, doing what I’m doing. I just really felt like this was something deep down inside that I wanted to do.”

Vaccaro added that he had offers from multiple NFL franchises who offered him a chance to return to football, but he wasn’t interested in getting back on the field.

Kenny Vaccaro entered the NFL as New Orleans Saints’ 15th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent five seasons in New Orleans, making 67 starts with the franchise and contributing with 385 tackles, 30 passes defended, eight interceptions, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles.

After the Saints decided not to renew his contract following the 2017 NFL season, Vaccaro joined the Titans. He started all 42 games he played in Tennessee, but the franchise decided to release him this offseason. He was two years into the four-year, $26 million contract extension he inked in 2019.