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The Davon House Deal: Ted Thompson Was Too Timid

The signing of Davon House is great news for Green Bay Packers’ fans. It took well less than a week for almost all the quality cornerbacks to be snapped up in free agency. Let’s go right to the raw data.

Here are the players, their new team, their age, their annual salary (and how many years), their previous team and where they were drafted.

Rams, Trumaine Johnson (27), 1 for $16.7, Rams, 3/65
Jaguars, A. J. Bouye (25), 5, $13.5, Texans, undrafted
Patriots, Stephon Gilmore (26) 5, $13, Bills, 1/10
Bengals, Dre Kirkpatrick (27) 5, $10.5, Bengals, 1/17
Titans, Logan Ryan (26), 3, $10, Patriots, 3/83

Bears, Prince Amukamara (27), 1, $7, Jaguars, 1/19
Bills, Micah Hyde (26), 5, $6, Packers, 5/159
Bears, Marcus Cooper (27), 3, $5.33, Cardinals, 7/252
Panthers, Captain Munnerlyn (28), 4, $4.25, Vikings, 7/216
Lions, D.J. Hayden (26), 1, $3.75, Raiders, 1/12
Packers, Davon House (27), 1, $3.5, Jaguars, 4/131

Notes: I’m counting Hyde as a cornerback. Johnson was paid the franchise tag amount. Kirkpatrick got an extension from his own team.

The House Deal

As the above numbers indicate, getting Davon House for one year at $3.5 million is a great deal… and a terrible one.

I’d advise House to get a new agent. I’m confident that he’s worth much more than that. Just think, Micah Hyde just got a five-year deal averaging $6M per year.

I’ve been meaning to sound off about these one-year “prove it” deals that Ted Thompson has become enamored with. The trouble is that when they prove their worth, they then leave the team.

Apparently, despite all of the evidence – and House being watched every instant from 2011 through 2014 by Packers’ coaches and brass, Thompson still wants to “play safe.” He’s just not sure. He knows he was wrong once when he let him go, so now he’s worried he’ll be wrong again by bringing him back.

Sorry, Ted Thompson supporters – okay I’m assuming a lot there – this was timid, ambivalent, unconfident, chicken-shit negotiating.

It’s like Thompson is counting on House to fail. I’d wager he could have gotten House for a three- or four-year deal at $4.5M per year. Now, if House has a good year, his value will go to $7M or $8M, and the Packers will lose him.

Prove-it deals have their place, such as with Eddie Lacy.

But the Packers should have been confident about Jared Cook’s ability and worth. They weren’t, and he’s gone after just one year.

Then there’s Nick Perry. In 2016, he got the Thompson one-year special for $5 million. He proved his worth, but now it’s going to cost the Packers up to $12M for each of the next five years. This illustrates another negative: by the start of the 2020 season, Perry will be 30 years old, and likely not worth $12 million, in which case the Packers will likely release him, so it will probably end up being more like a three-year contract.

Once again, the Packers almost surely could have gotten Perry last year for four years at $7M per year, a total of $28M. Now though, those four years are going to cost $41M.

It all boils down to Thompson, and maybe the entire front office, not trusting in their own ability to evaluate football talent. So why is Ted Thompson the team’s general manager if he’s unable to confidently make – and act upon – such assessments?

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Cheese March 14, 2017

    Excellent point. First Ted does the typical ”I’m not even gonna make an offer to one of my own guys and let him walk” to House. Draft and develop! Develop and discard? Now after realizing his current secondary is garbage, he pulls out the one year prove it deal where if the player exceeds expectations they get overpaid, and if they don’t exceed expectations Ted can sign someone on the cheap who probably shouldn’t be on the team in the first place. Genius!

    1. Ace March 14, 2017

      You are an idiot, cheese!

    2. Chris March 15, 2017

      Ted likes signing the one year deals so when the player has a big year and leaves he gets another comp pick to piss away

  2. Ferris March 14, 2017

    Cooper was the miss for Ted and the best value. Could have had both him and House for the cost of Shields himself. Everyone will get to see him twice this year and say the same. Good job by the Bears.

  3. PF4L March 14, 2017

    Not to defend Ted, but sometimes you don’t get what you want. It’s not all up to Ted.

    The player and his agent also have a say….

    If a player wants to bet on himself, he’ll often take a 1 year deal for less than market value.

    I would have liked to see a 2 or 3 year deal around 3 mill/average.

    But House is in his prime earning years, so a year deal made sense to him i would think, versus tying up the next 2 or 3 years at the lower end of the pay scale.

    Usually there is an impasse in multi year negotiations that lead to this one year scenario.

    For whatever reason, the Jags wouldn’t put him on the field, but when they did he earned his money and then some.

    My guess is, were going to get his best this coming season, as his career is on the line.

    So at the end of the day, it’s really hard to judge the deal one way or another, as none of us were there to know what happened.

    I’m just happy we got some real help.

    1. Kato March 14, 2017

      Agreed. This is also why Alshon Jeffrey took a one he deal with the eagles rather than a long term deal with the Vikings.

      1. PF4L March 14, 2017

        I don’t have much of a football background, but once in awhile i can sound smarter than i am…and fool everyone.

    2. Ace March 14, 2017

      Good point

  4. Kato March 14, 2017

    This is a rare instance where I will defend Thompson. The Jared Cook deal was a shrewd deal. Cook hadn’t produced anywhere for a while, and while QB play hasn’t helped him, he also hasn’t helped himself with drops, and I haven’t forgotten he had a couple in the NFCCG. Drops have been a knock on him. To me, they got probably a better overall player with Bennett. Bennett is also possibly the most imposing target Rodgers has ever had. Prove it deals are what they are. Remember when Brad Jones had his career year, and was one of the better pass coverage LBs that year? He got a three year deal, which turned out to be a mistake. Also, longer term deals tend to have more guaranteed $, and those cap hits affect more years.

    1. PF4L March 14, 2017

      I know Cook was injured, but i didn’t feel like they utilized him enough. When they featured him in the playoffs, he was a boss, and a playmaker. But yea, his catch rate was pretty bad, but they knew that when they signed him.

  5. Yolo7 March 14, 2017

    Great points how long has this 1 year prove it deal been a thing?
    Seems like a recent invention it is a bit bad for the fans I think but that is neither here nor there.

    1. PF4L March 14, 2017

      Some players (not many) will leave their teams, do one year deals, purely for the money, as in Revis. The funny thing with Revis, is he went back to the Jets and he lost his wheels, then expected the Jets to be “loyal” to him….lol

  6. BP 257 March 15, 2017

    The reason they didn`t re-sign Cook is because they had their sights on Martellis Bennett! Cook is a good player and did a great job but he is not Martellis Bennett! Can`t wait to see what he does in this offense with Aaron. As far as House goes. I believe he`s a bit better than most people think on here. Good size and speed with decent ball skills and pretty good physicality. Better than Randall or Rollins. Too bad Sam`s no longer there. He and House would be an upgrade.

  7. Mark H March 15, 2017

    Sure, you knew Perry would have a break out season. It’s easy to say Ted should have done something different in hindsight. Using your philosophy he might’ve signed Datone to a long term contract last season anticipating a breakout season and then be stuck with the same invisible dude he’s been since day one.
    Why don’t you tell us who is going to breakout this coming season that we should sign to a long term contract and we’ll see how YOU do?
    I will say that sometimes you see a player coming on during the season and should work toward a new contract when you do.