Cornerback Casey Hayward is arguably the most talented player among the Green Bay Packers’ free agents this offseason. Despite that, we unanimously believe Hayward will be playing elsewhere next season.
The reasons are simple.
First, the Packers have a ready-made replacement in 2015 second-round pick Quinten Rollins. As a rookie, Rollins actually did more in limited action than Hayward did as a full-time player.
Second, Hayward is going to get a substantial offer from someone. He may not be the boundary cornerback he thinks he is, but he’s a top-tier slot cornerback.
That could mean a deal similar to the one former Packers cornerback Davon House signed with Jacksonville in 2015 (four years, $24.5 million). That’s more than $6 million per season.
The Packers gave Sam Shields a contract that averages close to $10 million per season in 2014. We simply can’t see them investing $16 million in two cornerbacks when one of those cornerbacks is the third or fourth-best on the team.
That just doesn’t make any sense.
If there was a compelling argument for Hayward returning, it was made by Pro Football Focus.
One of the premier slot cornerbacks in the league, Hayward transitioned to starter in 2015 and did not disappoint. He was the Packers’ highest-graded cornerback in 2015 in coverage, and 21st-overall in the entire NFL. His traits won’t likely command as much money as Sam Shields, but he should be just below that range. Even with Hayward’s apparent heirs already drafted in Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall, secondary is such a premium position that you can’t afford to bleed talent.
While we agree with most of that, we’re still not buying the idea that the Packers might re-sign Hayward.
From a personnel standpoint, there’s an argument. You don’t want to let quality players walk.
From a financial standpoint, there isn’t. No team can pay everyone and the Packers prepared for this exact scenario when they picked up Rollins, Damarious Randall and LaDarius Gunter last offseason.
Pretty simply, Casey Hayward is a luxury the Packers can’t and don’t need to afford.
I see this guy chasing the biggest jackpot that someone’s willing to drop on him.
The state of things.
Just a question, in 3rd and long, how many defensive backs do we have on the field? 6, 7, sometimes 8? Do we really want to have that last man be a bench warming special-teamer who can’t cover balogna with a slice of bread? When we get down to 3rd and 15 and a championship is ridding we want Shields, Randall, Rollins, Hayward, Burnett, Clinton-Dix and Hyde all on that field and only an idiot doesn’t see that!
And BTW, we normally carry SIX corners
^I think the packers were in that very position against Arizona and still failed. Well, not with a championship on the line, but a trip to the NFC title game was. This draft is deep at corner, they will probably draft another one in the middle rounds. Plus they will likely get a comp pick, possibly 3rd round level.
“premier slot cornerbacks”…..BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.
this guy needs to go we have enough and Rollins can get a larger role. Also, this guy sucks and he can go make money elsewhere like Jacksonville since their secondary is shit. Hayward gets burnt and he can’t really cover and he hasn’t been productive lately. So I think he needs to go.
The most detrimental thing to happen to Hayward was Tramon leaving. We knew since the beginning he wasn’t outside corner material, but what are ya gonna do?
Slot position is still a new position in the NFL, and pay for such players isn’t going to fetch what they believe they’re worth.
While the position is important the natural transition is to a #1 or #2 corner. If he’s got his head on his shoulders and knows the best of his abilities are at slot, he will stay for a lower contract….or he goes elsewhere and spends an entire career getting burned, his choice.
When I say new I mean new in terms of contract negotiations. On either side of the ball the slot is the new player “type” that’s being elicited for the high flying and multi receiver set lineups.