Dec 6, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (24) takes the field before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Vaccaro retires from NFL, launches esports brand

Former New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro has retired from the NFL and launched an esports organization called G1, or Gamers First.

A first-round pick (15th overall) by the Saints in 2013, Vaccaro registered 610 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 10 interceptions and four fumble recoveries in 110 games (109 starts) with New Orleans (2013-17) and Tennessee (2018-20).

Released by the Titans in March, the 30-year-old Vaccaro said he turned down numerous NFL offers to pursue his passion with gaming.

“This isn’t a reflex decision for me; it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time,” Vaccaro said Wednesday in a news release. “I’ve been a gamer for even longer than I’ve played football, and I’ve always thought of myself as a gamer first. So this is the realization of a long-term dream for me.

“And while football has been how many have defined me, G1 is evidence for other athletes as well that life doesn’t end just because you put down the helmet. You can reinvent yourself.”

Vaccaro co-founded G1 along with entrepreneurs and professional gamers Hunter Swensson and Cody Hendrix.

“Vaccaro will now forgo the chance at a Super Bowl victory to instead shoot for a Halo World Championship,” read the news release.

–Field Level Media