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A staple of Packers former defensive coordinator Joe Berry's last two seasons in Green Bay were missed assignments in coverage, particularly on the back end of the secondary. The Packers ranked 22nd in points per drive (2.0), 25th in scoring percentage (39%), 20th in yards per play (5.4) and 25th in third-down percentage in 2023 (41%).

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has gone out of his way to rectify that issue for new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley by signing former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney to a four-year, $68 million contract, per NFL Media. The 24-year-old's new deal ranks as the fourth highest in average per year ($17 million) and total value ($68 million) among all NFL safety contracts according to OverTheCap.com. 

McKinney is one of his position's elites as his contract indicates. Pro Football Focus graded him as the NFL's best safety in coverage (91.2 coverage grade) as he totaled three interceptions while not allowing any passing touchdowns in 2023. McKinney's 41.4 passer rating as the primary defender in coverage ranked as the seventh best in the entire league, regardless of position, among the 146 players with at least 50 passes thrown their way last season. 

His presence will be a massive upgrade over the departed Darnell Savage. The Packers forced a tight window throw on only 12.4% of their opponents pass attempts in 2023, the third-lowest rate in the NFL, according to the league's Next Gen Stats. McKinney led all players who lined up at safety and had at least 20 passes thrown their way in forcing tight window throws with an NFL-best 30.8% tight window throw percentage.

Durability is an additional plus to his game. McKinney is one of only two players in the NFL to play every defensive snap in 2023 along with a former Giants teammate, linebacker Bobby Okereke. Safe to say he is happy to be Packers' newest Cheesehead, tweeting "Say cheese!"

McKinney will reunite with a familiar face in Green Bay in the Packers passing game coordinator Derrick Ansley. He most recently served as the Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator in 2023, but he coached McKinney during his freshman season at Alabama (2017) as his defensive backs coach. McKinney is the Packers' second big-name signing of the day with the team also signing Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs to a four-year, $48 million deal, per NFL Media. Green Bay netted around $32 million in cap space by releasing Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari on Monday.