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Davon House's Up-And-Down 2017 Leaves Packers With a Decision to Make.

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Davon House's Up-And-Down 2017 Leaves Packers With a Decision to Make.

Davon House could've made his home in Pittsburgh last year. Had he done so, he would've been playing in January.

Instead, the Green Bay Packers cornerback chose to embark on a trip back to where his career began to reconnect with a familiar team, environment and coaching staff.

Evidently, the lack of a playoff berth -- a rare occurrence for a team whose postseason dreams have been alive and well for eight consecutive seasons -- didn't matter to House, but the bonds he shares within the confines of the organization likely do.

House previously spent the first four seasons of his career in Green Bay before venturing to Jacksonville where he'd set the Jaguars' franchise record for passes defensed in a single season. But his brief stint of success with the Jaguars in 2015 -- before a sudden descendence in 2016 -- wasn't enough to make him a hot commodity on the free agent market.

Still, the Packers and House had a reunion. A reunion worth $2.8 million dollars for a year.

House, the former fourth-round pick who will have his 29th birthday in July, put together a formidable season in the midst of having it dampened by injuries. 

He missed four games -- including one late in the season with a transverse fracture in his back -- and was one of four players in the entire league to play in a game despite being listed on the injury report that week as "doubtful."

He may have played in just 12 games, but House finished with the second-most defensive snaps played amongst the Packers' cornerbacks. His 659 snaps rank just behind Damarious Randall's 717, and the gap between House and his follower is astronomical: Josh Hawkins is the far off third with 403.

Along with his plethora of snaps in 2017, House finished third on the team with six passes defensed, one sack, 37 tackles and an interception that he earned from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Now, new general manager Brian Gutekunst has a decision to make with House, who is one of the team's eight free agents-to-be in March. He is, however, the only cornerback out of the bunch that includes starting veteran safety Morgan Burnett.

The ideal route in retaining House would be a doable, cheap deal for a veteran who could provide experience to a group of young cornerbacks. The Packers will likely enter 2018 with the 33rd overall pick from a year ago Kevin King and Damarious Randall starting the perimeters.

Between the two presumed starters, a possible draft pick in April, House and the promising -- and undrafted -- Lenzy Pipkins, who showed flashes of being a physical asset in the secondary, the Packers may not need a complete overhaul. The desire for stable talent, however, is evident.

It's ultimately the depth behind King and Randall that need assistance, and the Packers may be able to turn to free agency -- a fresh approach for Gutekunst -- to equip themselves with another veteran cornerback to pair with House.

In the event that a starter goes down, being able to turn to a veteran with the physical attributes and smarts to understand and fully grasp a reportedly complex system under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would be a fulfilling scenario.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (28) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer Fan's picture

House is only an OK veteran backup. He is not what the Packers need to win a Super Bowl, just a good fill in. The Packers need a shutdown corner to go with King and Randall. Neither King or Randall can be considered so. I never saw House do something like the NE DB that swatted away Bortles 4th down pass. You gotta have makeup speed for that. Or like the Eagles corners running with and then ahead of the receivers on a long pass. We need a talented DB who can do that. House is just a fill in when injuries occur.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I agree Davon house is a good veteran backup so pay the guy a fair share and keep him

Coldworld's picture

Most back ups aren’t.

cheesehead1's picture

Just my opinion, but I thought the pass Gilmore batted away was under thrown. Would like to see the pass rush upgraded significantly, if possible. Mathews is overpaid IMO at this point in his career and Perry can’t stay on the field consistently.

TheVOR's picture

I disagree kind of "Big Time". He's a durable veteran, who can start. The only way I'd let him walk is if you're signing another absolute stud via UFA. I thought he played well this year, played dinged up and still held his own. A far more durable option. Like the guy, I'd resign..

croatpackfan's picture

Davon did not play well this year. It might be because of the injuries, but nevertheless he was one of the weakest DB link in Packers secondary...

DD's picture

Agree. House can be a good fill in at a reasonable price.

dobber's picture

If the Packers under Pettine really are going back to pressing WR, a guy like House would make a very good 3rd or 4th CB. We've seen the last couple years that those CBs down the depth chart have had to play a lot, so having that depth is important. If they can bring him back around the number they signed him for this season (about $2.5M), that would be about right. At that number, he really doesn't change what they can do in free agency, and if they structure the deal right, they can cut him if he underperforms or gets pushed down the depth chart in camp.

Coldworld's picture

I hope we do go back to press and throwing receivers off routes to the limited extent still allowed. Both of these things House is good at.

I agree, we need depth beyond rookies because of injuries and because the ability to rotate keeps players fresh and healthy.

Spock's picture

dobber, I agree. House's worth as a "veteran presence" really can't be overstated either. He was the first one to talk to Randall after his meltdown in the Dallas game, showed the youngsters how important he thinks practice is by his famous "fan trip" from Minnesota to Wisconsin, and played injured in the meaningless last game of the season. That's leadership. If we can keep him around for minimal money it seems like a good thing for the young DB room.

Lphill's picture

As Casey Hayward is being honored as the top shut down corner .......

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Its in the past. We ran a bad system with a bad DC. So we could not evaluate players properly hence we did not resign Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward because they were just okay players or at least so we thought. The same thing with Julius Peppers a good player but he's better suited for the 4-3 as a defensive end.

And this is why we have to be very , very careful in our evaluation of defensive players because of the bad system we ran and the bad defensive coordinator we had to put up with.

I still think we have very good players on defense, however they were just not being used properly as there seems to be a lot of miscommunication and players having to do more than what the position was intended. Hopefully, the new defensive coordinator can bring their talents together and bring the true talent out of these players that we saw when we drafted them.

worztik's picture

Not bad Doug... much better than your previous posts that were SO NEGATIVE... use a few commas or periods in the future... Just sayin’

dobber's picture

"use a few commas or periods in the future..."

This is almost a Master's Thesis for Doug...

worztik's picture

Dobber... you’re sense of humor is great! Need more commenters like yourself!!!! ;-€)

TheVOR's picture

I know, it's brutal. Lets pay Bulaga and Perry, Adams, and lets watch the real talent not get resigned.

Met him this year in Denver, nice young man! That was a big loss, that was like Philly losing Al Harris to Green Bay.

Bearmeat's picture

I am a big House fan. He was beat to hell last year and he still managed to play in 12 games. Now, he didn't play at a CB2 level, but I think he still has that in him.

If we sign him for another year or 2 at 3 mil AAV, he'd be a reliable Dime CB and may just end being a steal of a CB2.

We can't overhaul both the pass rush and the CBs in the same season. I think we bring House back, maybe another mid range veteran CB, and go after pass rush in the draft hard.

4zone's picture

Bearmeat, I have come to the conclusion that we upgrade our Pass Rush and coverage in FA and go high octane offense in the Draft. Two, or even one high end FA on D will help tons and then a deep threat at WR to go with Adams and a new seam threat TE should make us lethal next year.

flackcatcher's picture

My one concern about Capers nitro package was the lack of depth in the backside of the secondary. Neither Brice or Evans seem to have the mental stones to make the adjustments in coverage. I believe that led to Clinton-Dix regression more than anything else. A lot of the blame goes to Russ Ball for vetoing the resigning of Hyde on that score. This defense was OK right up the Dallas game, losing an entire secondary on overtime. Unreal. Minn was the final straw that broke the entire defense. So yes, resign House. Without good secondary play and depth, you can't win in this NFL. (If I were the GM I sign Burnett to a 1st tier FA contract too. But it's going to be in the 9-12 million range. It may be too much for the Packers to swallow. )

Finwiz's picture

Fan or not, he wasn't good.
Everybody's beat to hell in the NFL, so no excuses.
I don't want him back.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Davon House could've made his home in Pittsburgh last year."

Yeah, but then he'd have to play in at least two of those disgusting games against the Bengals. The NFL should just assign both teams losses for that Scum Fest.

4zone's picture

Can afford to wait and see. No rush.

John Kirk's picture

If we're believing King and Randall have arrived I think that's a mistake. DR may be absolutely terrible this year. He's erratic as they come. Should have never been a CB after playing S at ASU. King has attitude and can hit and that surprised me, but I don't know if he's a true cover corner. He lacks deep speed. Underneath routes he was fine on but I really don't think he can run with WR's. Not a King or Randall fan at all. House is about as inspiring as King and Randall minus the hope of improvement...and all 3 appear injury prone.

I feel like we have very very little at CB. House is fine as veteran reserve deep depth but for the love of he can't be thought of as a fix like he was last year. I was miffed anyone would think after Atlanta last year that Davon House and a rookie 9th DB taken in the draft was any kind of solution. I felt the season was over before it began due to our inability to fix the CB position.

This is an area where we really need to see a trade or a big FA signing. We just can't trust what we have in the pantry to make a great meal. We need to go out and shop at a top flight restaurant and take something home with us that's already cooked and ready to go.

No rookie drafted paired with anything we have can be thought of as fixing the position.

Overall, Davon House should've never come back to the Packers, meaning we should've never looked for him to bring him home. I would hope we don't bring him back because he's no answer of any kind.

Community Guy's picture

i am liking several of the guys in the upcoming draft.. a draftee can be cheaper with more upside.. i do like House's personality.. high character.. maybe another 1-yr prove-it deal until the backfield looks more set?

Bure9620's picture

He's solid depth and a good teammate but it would have to be a team friendly deal, he a 4th CB, not over 2 mil.

Donster's picture

Sign House for veteran depth. However, this team needs a few consistent, quality pass rushers. That alone will provide the secondary the help it needs. Nobody can cover anyone when the QB has all day to stand back there and wait for someone to get open. Getting sliced and diced by mediocre QB's has gotten very old. The secondary needs fast DB's that can recover quickly, and frickin learn how to tackle. And not be afraid to do it in the first place.

RCPackerFan's picture

I would like to see House come back. But I would like to see him be our 3rd-4th CB. King, Randall, and a FA CB then House would be my preference. Followed by a high round draft pick, then Pipkins and maybe Waters?

House I think would be a really good fit in Pettine's defense. But again, I want House as our 4th CB.

DD's picture

House a good backup reserve. FA or draft backs who can run, have attitude, size, and who can play press with head up looking to locate the ball. Got to be someone out there?

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