The Green Bay Packers haven’t contacted cornerback Casey Hayward about a new contract and it doesn’t sound like he expects them to.
The 26-year-old will get his first go at unrestricted free agency in March.
“They normally wait til closer to the deadline,” Hayward told Rob Demovsky. “But we shall see. I’ll probably hit the market.”
While it’s true that the Packers are often scrambling right up until the eve of free agency to get contracts done, they usually start negotiations with their high-priority targets well before then.
This is a clear sign that they intend to let Hayward test the market and that likely means he’s gone.
The Packers took the same approach with cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House in 2015 and lost them both. Green Bay’s situation is quite a bit different this time around, though.
Losing Williams and House left a great deal of uncertainly in the Packers’ secondary. Ted Thompson plugged those holes by drafting Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first two rounds of the draft. He also found an undrafted gem in LaDarius Gunter.
In other words, the Packers are very well equipped to lose a cornerback in free agency this offseason.
In fact, the play of Randall and Rollins as rookies makes this decision pretty easy.
Although Hayward is primarily a slot corner, we could envision him signing a deal similar to the four-year, $24.5 million contract House got in Jacksonville. To put it simply, Hayward has a stronger body of work now than House did then.
Also, remember that Thompson loves draft picks and letting Hayward walk in free agency will likely net a decent compensatory selection in 2017.
Can’t wait for that sixth round compensatory draft pick that’ll either end up on the practice squad or out on the street.
Isnt the whole point of not signing outside free agents, and doing the whole draft and develop thing is that you draft and develop, then you have the money to sign your guys
You keep your KEY players, if the Packers let Hayward hit the market clearly they don’t think he’s a key player, at least not one worth the money he’d get, that and they probably think they have a replacement who’s potentially just as good if not better than he already on the roster or in the draft (Rollins/Hyde).
They should be happy with a bag of chips as compensation for this guy. Don’t offer him anything. A decent rookie year then memories of Ahmad Carroll.
It will be interesting to see what level of comp pick the Packers get for House. A team will give Hayward a contract at least as much as House received last year.
Hopefully, we’re finally getting rid of that loser.
24 mill for a slot corner? Yeah no thanks. This guy cant go bye bye soon enough.