Or should we say stupider than he already looks?
The Green Bay Packers let cornerback Casey Hayward walk in free agency this past offseason. Hayward signed a modest — for a top cornerback — three year, $15.3 million contract with the San Diego Chargers.
The Packers showed no interest in re-signing Hayward and, we will say, there was good reason for that. They looked stacked at the cornerback position and had a number of younger, cheaper players ready for increased playing time. Two of those players — Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins — outperformed Hayward in 2015.
Things look awfully different now, though.
The Packers have been ravaged by injuries at the cornerback position. Sam Shields will probably never play again because of recurring issues with concussions. Both Randall and Rollins, when healthy, have played worse in their second seasons than they did as rookies. The depth behind them has been forced into starting roles they’re not ready for or capable of filling.
He just leads the NFL in interceptions with six. Here was the sixth against Houston on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Packers have just seven interceptions as a team.
They’re led in that category by safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s two picks. Three of the seven picks have been made by linebackers. Only one of them came courtesy of a cornerback. That one belongs to Randall.
Let’s review that again in plain terms.
- Total interceptions — Packers: 7, Casey Hayward: 6
- Interceptions made by defensive backs — Casey Hayward: 6, Packers: 4
- Interceptions made by cornerbacks — Casey Hayward: 6, Packers: 1
Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but letting Hayward walk now looks like an error on Ted Thompson’s part. Throw in Shields’ concussion history and it just looks stupid.