James Vaughters
No. 93 – Chicago Bears
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1993-06-27) June 27, 1993 (age 28)
Chicago, Illinois
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:256 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Tucker (GA)
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2020
Career CFL statistics
Quarterback sacks:11
Player stats at NFL.com · CFL.ca

James Alan Vaughters (born June 27, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford. Vaughters was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He has also been a member of the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers.

Early life

Vaughters was born to Jonathan and Vanessa Vaughters in Chicago, Illinois. He is the third of four children: Jahnisa Tate, Jonathan Vaughters, and younger sister Ryan Vaughters. After moving to Ohio in 1996, James and family moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia where he lived the rest of his childhood from 1999-2011.

At Tucker High School, in Tucker, Georgia, Vaughters accumulated accolades both as a student, community mentor, and as an athlete. He graduated in the top 10% of his class with a 4.0 GPA, including a curriculum consisting of several AP classes. He helped Tucker to their first State Championship and two semi-final appearances. He was a top-recruited linebacker on all the national recruiting platforms including ESPN, Scout, Rivals, MaxPreps, and PrepStar. As a senior, Vaughters had 95 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, four interceptions (one for touchdown), four sacks, and one fumble recovery (for a touchdown).[1] He earned honors as an Under Armour All-American, 2010 GA Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year, DeKalb County All-Class Defensive Player of the Year, two-time GA Merit Scholar, two-time President's Education Award recipient, National Beta Club, National Honors Society, and a Franklin D. Watkins Award finalist (Nation’s top African-American scholar-athlete).[1] He also appeared in several national publications including the Wall Street Journal.[2]

College career

At Stanford University, Vaughters earned a degree in political science, and played football. He started at outside linebacker for his junior and senior seasons, after contributing as both an inside and outside linebacker for his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a senior, Vaughters had 51 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in 13 games.[3] He was the Defensive MVP of his final college football game in the 2014 Foster Farms Bowl. He played in the 2015 East-West Shrine Game, an annual college football all-star game held by Shriner's Hospital for Children. Vaughters is also a member of Omega Psi Phi and was involved in other student organizations including Men Against Abuse Now (MAAN) and the Stanford PACS (Philanthropy and Civil Society) Community Grants Program.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
248 lb
(112 kg)
4.87 s 1.66 s 2.84 s 4.47 s 7.09 s 32.5 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 4 in
(2.84 m)
35 reps
All values are from Pro Day[4]

Green Bay Packers

After going undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft, Vaughters signed with the Green Bay Packers on May 8, 2015.[5] On September 5, 2015, he was released by the Packers during final team cuts.[6] Vaughters was signed to the Packers' practice squad two days later.[7] The team placed him on the practice squad injured list after suffering a torn left distal bicep tendon on September 30, 2015.[8] He was released by the Packers with an injury settlement on October 3, 2015.[9]

New England Patriots

On January 21, 2016, Vaughters signed a future contract with the New England Patriots.[9] He was released by the Patriots on May 2, 2016.[10]

Calgary Stampeders

Vaughters was signed to the Calgary Stampeders' practice roster on July 25, 2016.[11]

San Diego Chargers

On August 15, 2016, Vaughters was signed by the San Diego Chargers.[12] He was released by the Chargers during final team cuts on September 3, 2016.[13]

Chicago Bears

On January 8, 2019, Vaughters signed a reserve/future contract with the Chicago Bears.[14] On August 31, 2019, Vaughters was cut and signed to the practice squad the next day.[15][16] He was released on September 12, but returned to the practice squad on October 29.[17] He was promoted to the active roster on November 2,[18] and made his NFL debut in that weekend's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He mostly played on special teams, appearing on nine plays there and four on defense. He was released the next Monday and re-signed to the practice squad.[19] He was promoted back to the active roster on November 9, but waived two days later and re-signed back to the practice squad.[20] He returned to the 53-man roster on November 16 after Trey Burton was placed on injured reserve.[21] He was waived again on November 19 and re-signed to the practice squad.[22] On December 30, 2019, Vaughters was signed to a reserve/future contract.[23]

In Week 5 of the 2020 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, Vaughters recorded his first career sack on Tom Brady during the 20–19 win.[24] He signed a contract extension with the team on March 3, 2021.[25]


  1. ^ a b "James Vaughters - 2011 Football Roster - GoStanford.com | Stanford Athletics". www.gostanford.com. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  2. ^ Everson, Darren; Diamond, Jared (February 9, 2011). "Stanford Corners the 'Smart' Market". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  3. ^ "James Vaughters - 2011 Football Roster - GoStanford.com | Stanford Athletics". www.gostanford.com. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "James Vaughters - Stanford, OLB : 2015 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "Packers sign 17 rookie free agents". Packers.com. May 8, 2015. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Packers reduce roster to 53". Packers.com. September 5, 2015. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  7. ^ "Packers sign WR James Jones, assemble practice squad". Packers.com. September 7, 2015. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Packers announce roster moves". Packers.com. September 30, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Kyed, Doug (January 21, 2016). "Patriots sign Linebacker James Vaughters to future/reserve contract". NESN.com. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Patriots release DB Rashaan Melvin and LB James Vaughters". Patriots.com. May 2, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "Stamps add pair to practice roster". Stampeders.com. July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Henne, Ricky (August 15, 2016). "Chargers make six roster moves; place Johnson, Lissemore on IR". Chargers.com. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  13. ^ Henne, Ricky (September 3, 2016). "Chargers cut down roster to 53". Chargers.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Mayer, Larry (January 8, 2019). "Bears sign 10 to reserve/future contracts". ChicagoBears.com.
  15. ^ Mayer, Larry (August 31, 2019). "Chicago Bears announce 53-man roster". ChicagoBears.com.
  16. ^ Infante, Jacob (September 1, 2019). "Bears 10-man practice squad tracker". Windy City Gridiron.
  17. ^ "Tuesday's Sports Transactions". The San Diego Union-Tribune. AP. October 29, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  18. ^ Mayer, Larry (November 2, 2019). "Roster Moves: Bears add Vaughters, waive Sowell". ChicagoBears.com.
  19. ^ Williams, Charean (November 4, 2019). "Bears re-sign Bradley Sowell, cut James Vaughters". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Mayer, Larry (November 9, 2019). "Roster Moves: Bears waive Davis, Sowell; sign two". ChicagoBears.com.
  21. ^ Smith, Nathan (November 16, 2019). "Roster Moves: Bears place Burton on IR, activate Vaughters". Chicago Bears. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  22. ^ Mayer, Larry (November 19, 2019). "Roster moves: Bears waive Vaughters, sign two to practice squad". ChicagoBears.com.
  23. ^ Mayer, Larry (December 30, 2019). "Roster Moves: Bears ink nine to reserve/future contracts". ChicagoBears.com.
  24. ^ "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears - October 8th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  25. ^ Mayer, Larry (March 3, 2021). "Roster Moves: Bears re-sign five exclusive free agents". ChicagoBears.com. Retrieved March 3, 2021.