The Somewhat Curious Case of Davon House
Is Davon House an NFL-quality cornerback? The evidence is unclear – though reports are that the Green Bay Packers are interested in getting him back.
The Packers selected House out of New Mexico State in the fourth round in 2011. He is 6’1” and 201 pounds and had a 4.44 dash time at the NFL Combine. In his four years with the Packers, House was mainly a reserve and special teams player, though he started five games in 2013 and four in 2014. He had two interceptions in that time and managed to have 44 tackles in 2013.
The Packers made no attempt to re-sign him when his four-year rookie contract was up. Jacksonville swooped in and signed House to a four-year, $24.5 million deal. The Packers then selected cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the 2015 draft.
House started all 16 games in 2015, recording 49 tackles, four interceptions and 23 passes defended – the latter a team record and third best in the league. He seemingly started out in 2016 where he had left off, but after four games lost his starting job to Prince Amukamara.
Amukamara, the 19th overall pick by the Giants in 2011, was picked up by the Jaguars prior to the 2016 season. Though his stats differed little from those of House in 2015, once House lost his starting job to Amukamaraa, he barely saw the field for the rest of the year. Amukamara, by the way, is currently a free agent.
House was released by the Jaguars on March 7, so he is free to talk to teams and sign at any time. The Packers are known to be attracted to free agents who are released, as a team that signs released players loses nothing under the league’s compensatory draft pick rules.
From what I can tell, the rebuke of House by the Jaguars should not reflect negatively on him. The Jaguars are known for their wild personnel moves and spending sprees. In 2015, they went on a free-agent frenzy, signing House and many others. However, they have since cast off not only House, but also defensive end Jared Odrick, safety Sergio Brown and tight end Julius Thomas (who is being traded to Miami). Also, because they overpaid him, House became a financial burden once he became a backup.
The status of Davon House could change at any moment, but the Packers have expressed interest in him. The fact is that House was never given a full opportunity to prove himself in Green Bay. What he did in 2015 with the Jags proves beyond any doubt that the Packers underestimated his ability. Beyond those fine stats, at 6’ and around 200 pounds, House is more sturdily built and seems to be more injury-resistant than most of the Packers’ defensive backs.
The Packers have a rare chance for redemption here. Whether or not House becomes a starter is unimportant. He’s a six-year veteran, he’s in his prime, he knows the Packers’ defensive schemes, he’s already “developed” and his price should be reasonable.
It’s a low-risk move – sign him up, Ted!