In the last three years, the Packers have lost cornerbacks whose last name started with an ‘H’ (not that that means anything or has any relevance, I just thought it was interesting).
Two years ago, it was Davon House. House was a career backup with Green Bay after being drafted in the 4th round of the 2011 draft. He was a solid nickel and dime back and was good in situational matchups (like the Monday night game in 2014, where Julio Jones went off for 259 – the Packers tried everyone on him and House was the only one who could stop him).
When his rookie deal was up, the Packers didn’t feel House was worth starter money, since he never started for them. The Jaguars, free agency champions that they are, signed him to a 4-year, $24.5 million contract. In his first year, he looked good, setting a franchise record for most pass breakups in a season. In his second year, he was so bad that he lost his starting job and they cut him. Bonus for us, we got a compensatory pick that became Dean Lowry – since House is back, Lowry really just cost us a two year House rental.
For some reason, a lot of people think his return can solve the Packers cornerback issues. Since the Packers didn’t want him two years ago and the Jaguars don’t want him this year, I can’t see him being much more than veteran depth. Perhaps a solid (cheaper) replacement for Micah Hyde.
Last year, Casey Hayward left, signing a 3-year, $15 million deal with the Chargers. In his tenure with the Packers, Hayward proved to be a very good slot corner, but struggled on the boundary. With Sam Shields, a true number one corner, plus a heavy investment of first and second round picks at the position, along with guys like Micah Hyde, it didn’t make sense to keep another backup at that price. The fact that Hayward balled out and led the league in interceptions had nothing to do with it – Hayward had never shown that potential in the Packers scheme and was clearly better suited to the San Diego defense.
Besides, as Davon House proved, playing one good year, doesn’t mean you won’t get cut the following year (when your opponents see a years worth of film on how you play in a new system, it can make a big difference in how they attack you). Hayward would be nice to have now, but at the time, it was a calculated risk to let him walk – they can’t all be winners, can they?
This year, we lost Micah Hyde to the Bills on a 5-year, $30 million contract.
It’s no secret that I was a big Micah Hyde fan. He’s young, steady, and, occasionally, a playmaker.
But offering him a deal that bumps up against top 10 safety money? Well, that just won’t cut it. That’s the kind of stuff teams like the Bills do, which explains all their success in the past decade. Sure, we lose a versatile depth corner, but let’s be honest, as nice as it would have been to have him around as a crutch or to use in a pinch, he was not going to save the secondary.
It didn’t surprise me that another team made him a big offer, what really surprised me was that Ted allegedly didn’t make him an offer at all.
What’s going on up in the silver fox’s head?
Hyde is better suited to the slot, where they have a log jam since Rollins and Gunter are probably best there and Morgan Burnett played there a lot last year. Kentrell Brice’s development at safety could have also played into the decision. In short, Hyde was a good player that it just didn’t make sense to overpay since they have other options.
I don’t think losing Hyde is a giant blow to the defense, even though I really liked the guy. He wouldn’t have been the difference in winning Super Bowl. None of these guys were.
All three of these cases were non-starters getting offered starter money. However they work out, they were the right call for the Packers at the time – these decisions can’t be made with the benefit of hindsight.