How the Packers Can Fix their Issues at Edge Rusher

David Michalski addresses the struggling edge rusher position and a potential move that the Packers could consider as the trade deadline approaches.  

One area that the Packers 9th ranked defense struggles, is at generating consistent pressures and sacks from the edge rusher position (Grading from Pro Football Focus Premium Stats).  This issue has not been brought to light as much as it should have been because of the fact that the defense as a whole has shown a considerable amount of improvement from last season to this season, and because the Packers have an above average grade of 71.3 in the area of pressuring the quarterback.

However, a deeper look into the player personnel grading/rankings will show that the Packers edge rusher positions are clearly the weakest group on their defense.  According to Pro Football Focus Premium Stats, the Packers group of edge rushers do not have a player that has an overall grade greater than a 62.5.  

This stat shows us that the Packers are generating the majority of their quarterback pressures through their defensive line, their secondary, and their exotic blitz packages.  Furthermore, their collaborative "team defense" philosophy is clearly an enormous reason for why they have been a top ten defense since their edge rushers have provided next to nothing in production through this point in the season.  

To further illustrate my point, Clay Matthews grades out as the 21st out of 25 graded defenders with a 51.9 overall grade and a 56.7 grade in generating pressures, while Nick Perry grades out as the 18th out of 25 graded defenders with an overall grade of 58.4 and a grade of 57.4 in generating pressures.  These statistics could allow one to make the argument that two of the Packers highest paid defensive players are one of the highest liabilities that is holding the defensive back from becoming an elite unit.  If the Packers were able to consistently generate pressures and accumulate sacks from their four main edge rushers, there is no telling just how good their defense could be and how difficult it would be for offensive units to contain such a versatile array of weapons.  

In order to improve this area of the roster, the Packers are going to be faced with the difficult decision of either trading to acquire a pass rusher (from an almost nonexistent market), or, grapple with the idea of trading away a player like Haha Clinton-Dix whose value may never surpass what it currently is.  

Haha Clinton-Dix is having one of his best seasons to date as a member of the Packers which has brought us to the point where he must either be extended or traded to ensure that his value is maximized in the best way possible.  (Yes, I do realize that this will be a polarizing take/concept for most Packer fans).  The accuracy of these sentiments can be measured in both statistic and analytical value as Haha Clinton-Dix has already forced four turnovers on defense (3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble through six games), impacted games, as he did by putting the pressure on C.J Beathard that forced him to hurry his final pass which was intercepted, and finally, he has the highest grade among currently active safeties in the NFL with at least 200 snaps with a grade of 87.7 (According to Pro Football Focus Premium Stats).  

It is not a secret that Haha Clinton-Dix has been vocal about his displeasure of not being offered a contract extension during this calendar year.  He is currently playing under his rookie, fifth-year option at just under $5.6 million and believes that he should be paid like one of the top safeties in the NFL.  Furthermore, by his own admission, Clinton-Dix has recognized the real possibility that 2018 could, in fact, end up being his final season in Green Bay.  With this in mind, the Packers will have to have a heart to heart talk with the standout safety about their mutual plans for the future which will require transparency by both parties.

If the Packers or Haha's camp believe that the current relationship cannot continue moving forward, it would be beneficial for the organization to shop Clinton-Dix to teams that are in desperate need of defensive help.  One potential trade partner that stands out in this search would be the Kansas City Chiefs.  Sources throughout the NFL identified that the chiefs had been heavily engaged in trade talks with the Seattle Seahawks about Earl Thomas before he suffered a season-ending leg injury and have seemingly run out of options as Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim stated that he will not be trading cornerback Patrick Peterson.  

Kansas City is in desperate need of playmaking defenders who can slow down their oppositions aerial attacks and Haha Clinton-Dix certainly is a player who checks off all of the boxes of what the Chiefs are looking for in order to contend with the Patriots and company in the AFC.

Before we all have a mutiny, let's consider for a moment that the Packers do have the depth to absorb making a move of this magnitude.  With the signing of Bashaud Breeland, the Packers possess a formidable group of cornerbacks in Breeland, Williams, King, Alexander, and Jackson which could allow for Mike Pettine to move veteran cornerback Tramon Williams to free safety, a position that he previously played while in Cleveland under Pettine.  

Trading Clinton-Dix could provide the Packers with some insurance if they have any indication that he may leave the team this offseason in free agency.  Flipping him for a first or second round pick will provide Brian Gutekunst and the Packers with potentially three first-round picks, or two first round picks and two second round picks, which will allow the Packers to address the position of edge rusher in the draft while allowing them to potentially part ways with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry in the offseason which will free up over $22 million in cap space on those two players alone.  

Trading Clinton-Dix although not popular, could still allow the Packers to contend for a wildcard spot or possibly even steal a division title in a parity-filled NFC North, give them a chance to further evaluate Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, and Raven Greene, and accumulate a considerable amount of cap space and premium draft capital for next season.  Brian Gutekunst's words and actions thus far have shown that he wants to contend on a year to year basis but will not sacrifice the franchises long-term health on the account of one single player.  A Haha Clinton-Dix trade to accumulate draft capital along with the departure of deficient, cap consuming players on the Packers roster will set up Brian Gutekunst for a successful tenure during the remainder of the Aaron Rodgers era and beyond.     

          

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (117)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:22 am

If Gute can Flip HHCD for a first or second round pick, I think that would put Gute over the top for GM of the year. I'd jump at a 4th.

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4thand1's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:33 am

No way 4th TGR, there are always teams willing to overpay for a player. Right now is the time, Dix's value may never be higher than it is right now.

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Lare's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:47 pm

Yes, and maybe include Matthews, Perry and Cobb in the deal.

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TheVOR's picture

October 20, 2018 at 04:20 pm

So Ha2Dix for ANYTHING,............ I is a win.... IF....... You have no intention of resigning the football player.

In fact I'll just say it, they're STUPID..... If they don't trade him prior to the deadline...

All that said, if they think he's the future, sign the man... Its not like Cobb will be back... Still think they need to resign CMIII as an ILB, at a realistic expense..

I'd honest to God trade Dix, but........ it would be to "Patriots Like" for GB

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Tundraboy's picture

October 20, 2018 at 06:32 pm

Von Miller caliber player?

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 20, 2018 at 08:33 pm

Whatever happened to "Aaron Rodgers' window is closing fast. We need to win now." blah blah blah. Suddenly we give up a player who could potentially help us win a super bowl this season and make the spot weaker? If Gute asked Aaron Rodgers how he feels about trading away one of the biggest playmakers on defense this season for a "draft pick" next year you think he would be happy with that? Unless the Packers have thrown in the towel this year (I don't think they have) trading away Ha Ha for a future draft pick next year is ridiculous. This article is called The Bye Week Blues". Just boredom and too much time on our hands. No offense.

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Kb999's picture

October 20, 2018 at 09:27 pm

The only thing HaHa is going to give you is indigestion. Maybe we can swing a deal this year.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:42 pm

All I know is if you believe in the win now theory and Rodgers' window is closing you don't give up a player who is helping you win now and Ha Ha is. He's been a major disappointment last year and sometimes this season but this I do know. This guy is making plays. Plays that help the Packers win this year. Results matter.

I am amazed at all the people here in favor of getting rid of him and having nothing to replace him with. What about the rest of this season? It's not over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no and it isn't over now. Maybe for Ha Ha it's suddenly clicking like it did for Nick Collins who took 3 to 4 years before he became a play maker. What if Ha Ha is the same? We then trade him and he turns into a hall of famer? I want to win now and Ha Ha helps us win now. I'd be shocked if this has even a 5% chance of happening.

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NickPerry's picture

October 21, 2018 at 04:37 am

IMO the Packers aren't going to win a thing this year and with each passing game it's become more and more evident. If trade Dix for a player like for someone like Dee Ford or Shane Rey then maybe they pull the trigger. If they can get a high pick from a team like KC who thinks Dix can put them over the top for a 1st or maybe even a 2nd then do it. Next years draft is LOADED with pass rushers and defensive help and the Packers really need help everywhere, they need all the draft picks they can get.

Since no one is paying safeties big money maybe they pick one up in FA next year and use all of those picks to fix an O-Line that is getting weaker by the season. By next year they'll need the whole right side replaced so they'll need picks.

Just LOOK at Thompson's last 3 drafts.

2015....8 picks... Montgomery and Ryan are the only two with a remote chance of being here next year (Actually just Monty)

2016....7 picks...Clark and Martinez are keepers. Lowry is a JAG and everybody else can go.

2017....10 picks...4 are already gone and there's Jones who MM can't figure out how to use. Williams is okay and King may be something one day if he can ever stay on the field. Josh Jones can't beat out Brice who brings a whole new meaning to the word "dump truck" and Adams well who knows but not much yet.

That's 25 picks with MAYBE 3 who could be good to great. All the others...MEH...Yet there's still people who feel Thompson was a GOD. Without Rodgers falling to him in 2005 Thompson's time in GB would have ended YEARS ago.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2018 at 06:32 am

Lowry has played pretty well this year since Wilkerson went down. He is still young. World beater maybe not, but I am not willing to write him off as roster filler.

Frankly, there have been a number of occasions when I think Ryan would have brought a significant upgrade. The last game being one. He is better than Martinez at shedding blocks and plugging the hole.

I am not disagreeing with your overall point. I just think it doesn’t benefit from being embellished.

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Guam's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:40 am

Well said NP. I agree that TT's last few drafts have left the Packers short of talent in too many areas. I have believed for some time 2018 would be a rebuilding year and we would not be serious SB contenders even with a healthy Rodgers.

I don't think HHCD wants to play in GB next year given his recent comments and a late third round comp pick doesn't excite me much. I see no harm in testing the market and if KC or some other team would pony up a 1st or 2nd rounder for HHCD, make the trade. Not sure any team will, but desperate teams who think they are one player away can make mistakes.

Losing HHCD would hurt this year, but I doubt we are a play off team even with him and Gute could use the extra pick next year to get a talented player who wants to play in GB.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Nick Perry, while Thompson was the GM, the Packers routinely finished in the top 1/3 and often in the top 5 of the NFL which results in drafting at the bottom of the rounds. It is in that position that the majority of the true game "difference makers" are already selected. While you comment that Rodgers "fell" to Thompson, it was nevertheless, Thompson who made the selection. Perhaps it would be justified to criticize the 24 GM's who failed to select the best quarterback in the NFL when they had the opportunity.

I think you are a little too hard on Thompson with your comments

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packergal's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:01 am

Dash, FYI...your argument on HHCD staying here versus being traded for future draft selections is sound but facts matter--the Germans did not bomb Pearl Harbor.

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NitschkeFan's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:31 am

I think that was a joke, refers to a line by John Belushi character making a speech trying to rally his frat brothers but the Bluto character is not the brightest.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

lol.. I use that line multiple times during the season and every year and every time there's a sucker who bites on it. Packergal. sorry but unfortunately you were the sucker on that one. Watch Animal House and enjoy!! It's actually more of a teenage/college guy beer drinking movie but you might like it. In your defense only "old people" would get that line. You obviously are very young so you are excused.

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NitschkeFan's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:29 am

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? " Nice Blutarsky reference !

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Since'61's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:58 am

"Seven years of college down the drain". Thanks, Since '61

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GBPDAN1's picture

October 21, 2018 at 04:19 pm

A 1st or 2nd rounder for HHCD?... LOL. Who would be that dumb?

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EdsLaces's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:32 am

Lose one of our playmakers for another draft pick? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If we cant keep HHCD and upgrade our pass rush with 2 shots at it next year .....punt.

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4thand1's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:36 am

Agreed Ed but the o line needs help too. Would be nice to have an extra high pick for edge rusher and the o line.

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kevgk's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:40 am

We have 2 firsts. Grab an EDGE in the first, and OL in the second, and that leaves a first for a TE or WR or Safety or something.

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4thand1's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

With an extra high pick, Gute can move up in the 1st and get a stud who can start right away.

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EdsLaces's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:27 pm

I want pass rush and safety round 1. Could probably get a solid lineman in round 2.

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dobber's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:27 pm

...and still have another early pick to work with.

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stockholder's picture

October 20, 2018 at 06:05 pm

No Studs in this draft. Just players that may be good. They'll have to do their Homework.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 21, 2018 at 02:22 am

Dash has a point. Sometimes I don't know what to make of the current 2018 Packers. I can see the offense coalescing into a powerful force. The OTs/OL, Adams, and AR have to stay healthy. If I squint a bit I can see the defense being good enough. Overall, too many things have to go well and even then I am not sure this team is good enough.

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kevgk's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

You should rename this article to "Trade Clinton-Dix". Who would they trade him for? What teams have spare edge rushers? Who would trade for a guy about to hit FA?
I think Clinton Dix is a top player for this team in a position of little depth. Maybe we should trade somebody from a position with depth, like a cornerback or wide reciever.

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Rufus's picture

October 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Kevgk, There's an ass for every seat. Some teams will do anything to win now. If a team feels it is one player away they will sell their soul. Put HaHa on the trading block & see what you can get. Its time for HaHa to go BYe Bye.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:17 pm

HoHo!

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dobber's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:28 pm

I like those better than twinkies.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 21, 2018 at 07:43 am

Delicious AND nutritious!!

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kevgk's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:53 pm

That didn't answer my question. What is a team that wants him, and also has a player we want, but willing to make a deal? How would we fill our hole in safety depth after that? These ideas arent thought out at all.

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MITM's picture

October 20, 2018 at 06:25 pm

The Broncos Jaguars and Cardinals all have pass rushers to trade that would immediately become our #1 pass rusher. Thats off the top of my head

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dobber's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:38 pm

Yeah, the title is misleading. There's no player trade target in this article, just a shot at draft picks to fix the edge. A #2 from KC looks like it's going to be a pick in the late 50s or early 60s. I don't know how desperate they are. What about Atlanta? They've been decimated in their back 7 by injuries and their season is slipping away fast...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 20, 2018 at 02:56 pm

Suggestions to fix the edge in 2018:

Shane Ray: 133 snaps, 1 sack/QB hit, 7 tackles. 72.6 good
Jerry Hughes: 258, 4.5 sacks, 10 QB hits 84.2 pff HQ
Chandler Jones 404 snaps, 6.5 sacks, 25 tackles, 8 hits, 79.1 Good

Andy Herman tweeted that Hughes has 34 pressures, which is more than CM3, Perry, Fackrell, and Gilbert combined (33).

Hughes is 30. He'd come under contract at a prorated $3.74M cap hit for the rest of 2018. His cap hit would be $7.5M in 2019, though I believe he wants an extension. Is he a scheme fit? He played OLB in the past in Indy (underwhelmed I've read) and for Ryan in 2016.

Jones would cost $7.35M for the rest of 2018 and roughly $16M per year in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Ray would have a $987K cap hit for the rest of 2018. Denver didn't use the 5th year option, so he'd be a UFA in 2019.

No idea what it would take to pry these guys loose, or whether they fit. I don't know what's up with Ray. Maybe there are other possibilities.

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kevgk's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:57 pm

Good post. HaHa is a top safety prospect whether we like it or not, while the guys you mentioned aren't starters. A trade would just come down to the conversion of value between the two positions. Also, are these teams in a position to give up edge rusher depth? They are very very hard to pry from teams regardless of who is starting. Certainly an interesting situation.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Just like what happened to our secondary last year. Why trade one of your core players in a critical position, when the Packers are looking to strengthen that same position. Trade a prime DB defender in a passing league while your team is still in the playoff hunt. Makes no sense.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 21, 2018 at 02:47 am

Kevgk, Chandler Jones (age 28) is a starter. Jones has played 104 more snaps than CM3, who leads our OLBs with 273 snaps so far. Hughes has played more snaps than Perry, Fackrell, and Gilbert and just 15 fewer snaps than CM3. Hughes is a starter. Ray isn't a starter, which is why there has been speculation that Denver might be willing to move him.

Oh, Dante Fowler might also be available. He has been underwhelming, but he was the 3rd pick in the 2015 draft. He's be a flyer.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:46 pm

Let's weaken the back end of our defense to improve a pass rush that's already 8th in sacks and 4th in sack percentage. Oh, and they've evaluated Jones: HE CAN'T COVER. That's their evaluation.

Sheeeeeesh.

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2018 at 09:58 pm

Unpopular but sometimes the truth is. Good post.

Perhaps some would like to start Bryce and Jones at safety. Pass rush better be all world at that point.

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Spock's picture

October 20, 2018 at 11:55 am

Why trade him? I doubt anyone will overpay for him in draft pick status right now. Let him walk and get the comp pick after the season; meanwhile he plays his "best" trying to up his stock for a new contract with another team. I hope he gets that because comp picks are mostly about the salary paid as near as anyone can determine.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Comps are never higher than the end of the 3rd round and you have to wait a whole season. If they can get a second or third now it would be hard to pass up. Nobody is going to trade a 1st. I don't think it happens anyways.

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Spock's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:45 am

jeremy, Good point about the 3rd round being the max for a comp pick. I suppose if someone is offering above that NOW it would be something Gute would probably have to seriously consider given HaHa's comments about not believing he's coming back. I also don't think this is happening, but who knows?

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Kb999's picture

October 20, 2018 at 12:15 pm

They should have traded him last year after he shot his mouth off. I'm all in for trading him. The young guys will fill in nicely and I don't think it will hurt our chances of a playoff run. Trade him when his stock is the highest.

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Lare's picture

October 20, 2018 at 12:24 pm

Although the term "parody-filled NFC North" may be accurate to some, I assume you meant "parity-filled" instead.

That said, I'd agree with trading HHCD for whatever the Pack can get for him.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:27 am

I love jelly filled donuts.

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56Packfan's picture

October 20, 2018 at 12:35 pm

All last year, fans wanted HHCD out of town because of his horrendous, soft play. Now we think we can trade him for a 2? Seriously?

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Rufus's picture

October 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

56 pacfan, Lets hope we can get a #1. , not a 2. Crazy-er things have happened.. Last year I would have traded him for a bag of footballs. Put him out there and see what we can get. If there are no serious offers, no harm no foul.

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dobber's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:29 pm

Clearly those who assess football players for their on-field performance think more of HHCD than we fans do.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:01 pm

Not from what I've heard, they don't. Silverstein's anonymous front office people have all panned HHCD the past 2 years.

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NickPerry's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:04 pm

'give them a chance to further evaluate Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice"

SAY WHAT??

How much more time could the Packers possibly need to see of Brice to evaluate him? I'll save them some time...He's friggen PATHETIC!

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EdsLaces's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:28 pm

Agreed .

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The TKstinator's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:29 am

Succinct.

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jhalwas611.com's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:18 pm

I agree with trade scenario. even a 3rd rounder would be better than a low comp pick if he walks. Evaluating Jones or Greene in tandem with Tramon would be an interesting option. I get the need for edge rushers but also note that when a Qb can just step back and throw to receivers running through blown coverages nothing helps.

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Fire_Gute's picture

October 20, 2018 at 01:50 pm

I'm thinking its time to watch actual football instead of looking at stats. Who needs a subscription to a website or rankings to know that Matthews and Perry aren't getting it done. And if anyone actually thinks that HaHa is the best safety currently playing in football I don't even know where to start. There is a zero percent chance of getting a 1 or 2 for him. I'm not even sure how someone thinks its possible. Hes not going anywhere, and its not because the Packers are in love with him and going to make him the highest paid safety ever, because PFF says so.
Most people who actually watch the Packers without green and gold glasses realized that gutekunst didn't do enough to improve the pass rush, that Reggie Gilbert wasn't going to save it, that Perry wasn't going to play like his contract year when he wasn't hurt, and that Clay Matthews 2011 wasn't coming back. And I didn't need a premium stat subscription to a website.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:43 am

Don't be jealous that you can't afford a premium website subscription. You also shouldn't judge HHCD through brown colored glasses due to last year's performance. The author's point is that HHCD has been an impact player this year and that there could be a market out there for him and if there is we should capitalize on it. Gute got something for Brett Hundley so you never know. Gute's attempt to fix the pass rush was Mack and if he had landed him we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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Fire_Gute's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

Yeah, how on earth would I afford the whole 200 to buy a subscription to PFF. Might have to sell one of the broken down cars in front of my trailer. Go fuck yourself asshole. Or meet me somewhere in real life.

Sorry I didn't feel that a subscription was necessary to see that Matthews and Perry aren't very good. And think its ludicrous that someone thinks were getting a high pick for a turd. But hey, GB got a 6th rounder for Hundley, so how ignorant of me to use my eyes and common sense and not rankings to think that were not getting a 1st for haha

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 20, 2018 at 02:04 pm

As an article to encourage thinking it is pretty good, as a lets win and go see how far Rodgers can carry us in the playoffs it is pretty not good.

and before putting a draft value on Dix to a team like KC remember there was a team dumb enough to trade for BH

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:44 am

The same team that signed Feast Mode.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:43 am

Yes, but before we write a player off we would do well to think about what happened with some of our recent departures from Capers’ D that we thought not worth the money to retain.

HHCD had a down year and a half. In 6 games he has started to make an impact. Beware of being too quick to throw the baby out with the bath water.

We gain nothing by trading a safety at this point except a worse back end. All the rush in the world won’t save us from a Bryce & Jones tandem. Here is a thought. If the CBs are healthy, move Williams and see what HHCD does when he has a partner that he knows is likely to be in position.

The only reason for a trade like this is if the season is over. Given the unpredictable play by the rest of the division and most of the NFL, that is patently ludicrous for more than just the current standings parity. As to the few high flyers, few October heroes win it all.

A long way to go. Not saying it will come together, but it is certainly far from being over yet.

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Since'61's picture

October 20, 2018 at 02:40 pm

I doubt that we can get a #1 or #2 pick for HHCD since he will be an FA at the end of this season. A pick later in the draft won't help us much as far as obtaining an elite edge rusher.

I thought this article was going to provide us with some possible options for this season. Trading HHCD or any other player for picks doesn't do anything for our pass rush this season. Worry about next season when this one is over. The real question is how do we improve the pass rush this season? If we can't that's fine. But why trade one of our better play makers so far this season?

The premise of this article is about the 2019 Packers pass rush. Who cares? We still have at least 10 games to go in this season. If we can't improve the team for this season why weaken it with 10 games left. This may be a bye week but let's try thinking before we post click bait articles that are irrelevant about the current season. We can discuss the 2019 roster when the time comes. Thanks, Since '61

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henry113's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:42 pm

61, If its possible to unload him now maybe we can get someone this year. There's a lot of holes on this Packer team besides edge.

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Cartwright's picture

October 20, 2018 at 04:36 pm

'61 I see your point, but the old adage strike while the iron is hot comes to mind. If we are saying ta ta to Ha Ha for next year we might as well put the bait out there and see what bites. We need more help elsewhere and his loss is a gain, if we can pick something up in the trenches like a lineman to make up for Wilkerson's loss would be great. Lowry for a whole year with Montnovius backing him up scares me more than our OLB situation that's for sure. Gurely I'm afraid is going to have a field day, as will any decent RB from here on out unless something is done to shore that up. If Dix continues to play well maybe Gute pulls a rabbit out of the hat before the trading deadline.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2018 at 06:36 am

If we have given up on the season perhaps. Trading HHCD for a future draft pick isn’t going to make us a better team this year.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:50 am

How is this article click bait? Where are the ads to generate revenue? Where's the misleading title and a copy and pasted article that you've seen 100 times. The author makes a case for trading HaHa. Replace him with William's and get draft capital if we can. Disagreeing with his premise doesn't make this a bad article Since 61'. It has "evidence" from PFF to back up his claims and is a different way of having us talk about how awful our OLB play had been.

Prior to the start of 2018 Packer fans all said that Petti e did more with less with the Jets. That we didn't need OLBers because Perry and CM3 were more than JAGs and Pettine's scheme would fix everything. That's the boat we are in but the good news is our 2018 defense is still better than what we've seen in YEARS.

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Since'61's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:09 am

Jonathan I agree that our defense has improved but I'm not ready to give up on the 2018 season yet. We have 10 games to go and if we trade HHCD for picks we give up one of our better play makers now for unknown quality picks next season.

I doubt that we can get a #1 or #2 pick for HHCD at this point. Why weaken our own playoff chances for this year to acquire a #3 pick or higher for next year. If we could trade HHCD for a player who could help us this season I could agree with that but to weaken our safety position group for a future pick sends a message to the team and fans that we are giving up on this season when there is no reason to give up on the season with 10 games to go.

Keep playing this season. Worry about 2019 when it gets here. Thanks, Since '61

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Bearmeat's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:04 pm

No way we even get a day 2 pick for an HHCD rental. A far better scenario: HHCD for a secondary pass rusher who is also on an expiring deal from a team who is hemorrhaging points in the secondary but has a deeper pass rush. Chiefs. Broncos. Dolphins. Cardinals. Steelers. Titans. Texans... all possibilities.

But let's be real: I'd be absolutely shocked if HHCD is moved this year. I just hope we don't re-sign him.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:43 pm

Here's a better solution: Extend him and keep him Green Bay. He's young, stays healthy and plays, and is at least as good as an average safety in the NFL by any measure you want to apply.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:56 pm

For the price it would cost right now?

Hell to the no. Mayyybe in late March if he's still around. HHCD is an NFL average FS and no better than that. 4/5 years has proven this.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2018 at 07:12 pm

Do you have any idea what the average salary for an average starting caliber not on rookie contract safety is.?

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stockholder's picture

October 20, 2018 at 07:37 pm

HARRISON SMITH- vikings is at 10.3 . Rated #6 Berry tops= at 13 mil. Dix won't sign for less then ten mil.

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dobber's picture

October 20, 2018 at 09:04 pm

What did Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro and Tre Boston end up getting? They'll all be back on the market this spring, too. Even Morgan Burnett didn't make that much on his deal.

The safety market was terribly depressed last spring. Hard to expect it would be nearly as depressed this spring, but why would you spend the coin to buy out HHCD's free agency? Let him test the market.

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Oppy's picture

October 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

Safety salaries in the NFL are relatively low.

What Haha thinks he's worth and will sign for? Just as importantly, what is the maximum a team thinks HaHa is worth and is willing to pay him? Who knows.

For an idea of how much top Safeties actually get paid in the NFL, I looked at the top 32 highest paid safeties in the league. Forget averages; they skew the numbers to the top. Let's look at MEDIAN salary of the top 32 paychecks for safety, and then the bottom salary of the top 32.

#1 Salary of 32: $13 Million
#16 salary of 32: $6.5 million (MEDIAN salary of top 32 highest paid safeties)
#32 Salary of 32: $4.25 million

Is HaHa a top 5 safety in the league? Top 10? Top 16?

Other notes:

#6 and higher before we see $10M salaries at safety.
HaHa's current salary of $2.08M places him at #54
If we looked at top 64 salaries (since there's two safeties on the field), the median becomes $4.25M and the low end drops to $1.64M... If we expand to ALL safeties in the NFL (There's 179 of them), median drops to $880k and the low end is obviously league minimum $480k.

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/rankings/average/safety/

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Lare's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:56 pm

HHCD quit on the team last year and quits on plays this season instead of making tackles.

Yeah, you can never have too many quitters on your team.

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Kb999's picture

October 20, 2018 at 04:05 pm

Send him packin

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:21 am

"I just hope we don't re-sign him."

Ted would have given him 4 years 40 million right about now if he was still driving.

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stockholder's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:10 pm

1. You CAN"T TRADE ANYONE while MM is in the Hot Seat. That spells THE END. 2. Pettine won't fix a thing until it's broken. The popularity of a player is the problem. So don't expect benching. Meaning cmIII or Perry. And it makes No sense when nothing better is behind them. So - to make this interesting. Lets' add the next player that's close to starting. Adjust your people from there. The packers can't Keep waiting until next year. It's time to play your BEST players. I believe Jones could handle a bigger assignment. And as teams drop out. Trade your 4s, 5, and back. Get players behind CMIII and Perry. And it just might get them to play like we know they can.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:42 pm

We're 8th in sacks and 4th in sack percentage. I love the opening line that talks about how the 9th ranked defense is "struggling" Seriously? #9 is struggling? After years of us being in the bottom quarter of defensive ranking?

I swear, some people appear to have a one track mind on pass defense. Our pressure is fine if we can keep guys covered. But when you're rushing four on five you're outnumbered to start. IF TE or RB is used to chip and release then it's even more in favor of the offense. You have to keep people covered in order to give the pressure a chance to work.

When King, Alexander, Breeland, and Jackson all are healthy and on the field, I think you'll see our pressure is plenty good enough.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 20, 2018 at 03:58 pm

That's the hope. That's actually the only hope, because the front 7 is not going to get better pressure (which is about nothing right now). The pressure is coming from scheme, which the good QBs (whom we have only played 1-2x) will light up.

We've played MIN, and mayyybe DET as it pertains to "good" offenses. Methinks you might be singing another tune in a month.

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stockholder's picture

October 20, 2018 at 06:56 pm

LET'S IMPROVE THE DEFENSE. DUMP THE 3-4-4! You don't have depth at Lb to do it right. Put Perry over the LT. He's playing OLB to slow. Clark, Daniels, Middle, Lowrey over the RT. Keep him there! Mathews OLB. Martinez ILB. Gilbert/Frackwell OLB . Jones SS ,Dix FS Williams King Cbs. Next dump all ILbs. Morrison is to slow. Burks is Martinez replacement. And Jones stays in when Burks goes in. (Passing situation).

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Coldworld's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Lithium?

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Chuck Farley's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm

I too hate that 3-4-4 or whatever they are trying to do. Ketchum had an interesting comment I read a few years back : " Ted doesn't want the 4-3 defense because it costs too much". " The good de's are in the low first rounds and want a ton of money".
Thus our d is cheaper to operate.

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Oppy's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm

So you didn't read the link in my reply to you that showed the difference between top pass-rushing DE's and top pass-rushing 3-4 OLBs was only about 1M dollars?

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4thand10's picture

October 23, 2018 at 09:24 pm

Getting back to the Authors article....

I’m old school, I think big strong gets more pressure, I think safety’s need to be covering TEs instead of LBs. LBs covering running and slot assistance . Plenty of good teams running a 4-3 cover 2. Or 4-3 cover 3. Good teams get pressure with 4. I’ve said this before and I know it gets old. To me, your paying a pass rushing OLB the same as a 4-3 defensive end. Either way rushers get paid. Only pass rushing OLBs have more responsibilities which doesn’t make for faster play in some schemes... ala Capers. If you have OLBs the size of say ...Mike Neal or Peppers...it CAN work... but those guys were heavier and stronger than a lot of OLBs.

With just a mediocre DL or 2 signing ....creativity could really take off. You could have Mike Daniels rushing off the edge like Reggie White. I think with players like Clark and Daniels you could put Lowery and someone else in the middle and have a decent 4 man DL front. I don’t know a left or right tackle in the league that would want to see Daniels or Clark on their right or left tackles. I think there still can be some things done THIS year to bring that edge pressure. At least a bandaid until Pettine gets more than the skeleton crew he got this year at edge. And they only carried 5 DL this year. Look at other teams rosters....they carry more DL. We are not thin on linebackers....just thin on ones that can hold an edge and rush the passer effectively. But for what Pettine has for personnel....he is doing good.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Packers haven't played a 3-4 in years. Under Capers their core was a 2-4-5. Now they play 3-3-5 as the core package, but switch to a 3-2-6 in the second half as they make defensive adjustments. CM3 becomes a inside rover and Perry plays the edge on the line. Back 7 is the back bone on both packages to date, and since it has worked who can blame them.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2018 at 06:44 am

Short memories: recall the clamor here to move away from the 4:3. Players not schemes!

If our OLB talent was stronger, I doubt we would be hearing this old chestnut. Well, guess what, next year it maybe given our picks.

I also think we need to remember that we lost Ryan, our best ILB against the run—look at his stats in the second half of last season (not saying he is better overall than Martinez). Also consider that Burks is a rookie who missed a lot of game time due to injury.

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stockholder's picture

October 21, 2018 at 07:35 am

It looks like the 3-4-4 when CMIII rushes more than 1/2 the time. And then Perry tries. With the 2-4-5 or the 3-2-6 they seem to do better. But they still are having trouble stopping that big drive. They want pass rush. What their doing just does not generate enough rush. Most people want better Lbs or edge rushers. We still have a lot of money tied up in CMIII, Perry, and Daniels. Clark is going up. But while most clubs still have the 4-3-4, the DE are doing better than Perry and cmIII. You are going to pay more for a stud Lb than DE. I believe you still have to push the pocket. Raji made a lot of money with Picket. So the costs savings isn't that great. But watching the eagles and how they play their fronts. The packers need to push the middle. Martinez did do better blitzing of late. It may be time to move CMIII inside for that to continue. But I believe Raji and Pickett did better than Daniels and Clark in 2010. So I'm still for the packers changing their front.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2018 at 11:39 am

Current NFL rules has devalued the ILB. Sacks come from pre determined schemes, or more often than not, good coverage from the secondary. Only a couple of teams have good front 7, but without good secondary they get beat over the top. (Denver anyone) This is not an either or question. Teams make choices base on need and scheme and now what rules the NFL decides to enforce. Dom Capers got fired because he would not adjust his scheme to the fact that the NFL was forcing the ILB position into none existence. That means what pressure a DC gets must come from his front 3-4 DL or delayed pressure from his DB playing in the slot or box. But remember, those positions are there to cover either the slot WR or TE. Taking the RB is second and pressuring the QB is down the list. I don't like either, it gives the offense an unfair advantage it does not need. But those are the rules, and that forces the Packers and every team in the league to load up on DB.

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Oppy's picture

October 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

How has the current NFL rules devalued inside linebackers?
Honest question, I do not understand what you are getting at.

If the ILB is undervalued, how come when every offense in the league lines up at the line of scrimmage, the very first thing that needs to be identified and called out to the protection is which defensive player is acting as the mike?

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stockholder's picture

October 21, 2018 at 01:18 pm

Why draft Burks then? I'd move CMII inside like stated.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 22, 2018 at 03:23 am

That's what they did against the lions second half. Burks 5 years ago would be a big box safety. Earl Thomas, only bigger and quicker. Both are incredible athletes. They out matched the lions RB and TE on short curl and flare routes. Burks was drafted to do just that. CM2 was outstanding on trail coverage, Stafford got increasing frustrated from the early third on. They were a main reason the Packers defense shut down the lions for most of the second half.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 22, 2018 at 03:07 am

Depends on what you define as a linebacker. Up to a couple of years a ago, an average ILB was 6-2 and around 240-250. Bigger was better to play in the gaps and stone the run game. Today, most teams ILB are at best 6 feet and 220. That's a box safety in older defensive schemes. As for the 'mike' call, that is used so the center can set their offensive blocking schemes, nothing else. It does matter because defensive's do all they can to confuse to deceive pre snap. (By the way, the packers second half are one of those teams where it hard for offense to get a hat on their players, because they do a good job hiding their center of defensive gravity.)

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flackcatcher's picture

October 22, 2018 at 03:27 am

I meant to say 220-230. (maybe I should proof read my comments before hit submit........:)

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4thand10's picture

October 23, 2018 at 09:26 pm

Flackcatcher.....I’m so happy that 2-4-5 is over. That was maddening to watch.

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Chuck Farley's picture

October 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm

I like a lot of David's thinking. I agree Perry and Mathews should be dumped. Both are old slow an ineffective. There not going to get faster or stronger. Yes edge rusher or two needed.
I also agree time to get value for dix. Next year he holds all the cards and one is, we overpay him.

My only dis agreement is, I don't think he is valued as highly by other teams. They may want him for a 4th?.
They may not want him at all.

If gutt shops around and can't get much that's good to know in future negotiations
I'm done now.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 21, 2018 at 03:02 am

The trading deadline is two days after the LAR game (October 30). The optics if GB were to trade HHCD are pretty bad. Both inertia and the safe play is to do nothing. For all we know, there is no market for HHCD anyway, or at least not a market robust enough to tempt GB.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2018 at 11:52 am

Probably the same market like Hyde's. The odds with the glut of FA DB will flatten his price somewhat, but should do OK no matter what the sports talk head say. Packers got a decision to make on over paying him to lock him up, or letting him go. It's too bad that there is no middle ground here, as egos on both sides have been engaged.

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4thand10's picture

October 23, 2018 at 09:31 pm

I would have made a bid on Amari Cooper....instead Dallas snatched him up. At one point he was an over 1000 yard receiver. We don’t have anyone past Adams who’s going to get 1000. I would have grabbed him and let one of our picks ( J’mon Moore anyone) go.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 21, 2018 at 07:58 am

Furry should have dumped Fabio and Perry (and Cobb and Bulaga) in the off-season, freed up some cap space and got a couple players. If he can get more than a 5th for HHCD, do it. The guy is overrated because of a few splash plays he makes every season. Most of the time he does all he can to avoid contact.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:09 am

Brugala has looked good when healthy why the hell would you cut him? Who would you replace him with?

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jeepingmakooi's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:40 am

A few splash plays... Do you know who got the pressure on bethard on Kings pick? A fee internceptions this year.. one in which he definitely didn't avoid contact with Kelvin Benjamin.. probably should go check your options are the door and just go with his play.

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fthisJack's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:00 am

i have never liked this guy ever since the loss to Seattle in the playoffs in'14. soft and afraid of contact and gave up in 2017. if they can get a decent draft pick...go for it. he won't be in GB next year cause he thinks he's the greatest safety in the league and will want to get paid the big bucks. get something for the guy before he splits.

the GBP sure won't miss him. we need more draft capitol for next year to beef up the OLB and OL.

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PackfanNY's picture

October 21, 2018 at 08:44 am

This is a typical internet fan board topic that gets a lot of hits and comments but in reality.... Face it their is almost ZERO chance HHCD gets traded at the deadline. First he is a Free Agent at the end of the year. No GM in his right mind will give a HIGH (1,2 or maybe even a 3) for a guy they will control for half a season. Two, trading him straight up for a weakness (pass rusher) assumes the team matches up with you and needs a safety. Third, if you think we are bad at safety now imagine safety without a replacement. Finally, did I mention the guy we want to trade is a FA after the season? Why would anyone give up a lot for that?

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:09 am

1) This is the NFL, not MLB. HaHa is going nowhere this year.
2) Saying that dumping Matthews and Perry next year saves you 22M is just not true. Nick Perry's cap hit next year is 14.7M, but dumping him creates 11.1M in dead cap money, so he costs the Packers at least 11M against the cap whether he gets dumped or not. And nobody is trading for that contract, so don't go there. OTOH Matthews contract is done after this year, so "dumping" him next year doesn't save the Packers a penny. Bottom line: "Dumping" both of them next year would "save" the Packers about $3M. Nick Perry is going nowhere, and CM3 will either retire or be back at a greatly reduced price.
3) I thought we all agreed that Pettine's defense didn't rely on generating sacks from the OLB position? The question isn't are they getting sacks, the question is are they doing what they are being asked to do, and are they doing it well?

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Lare's picture

October 21, 2018 at 04:29 pm

According to Pete Dougherty, cutting Perry next year would save $3.6M in cap space. Matthews expiring contract will save $11.3 million in cap space, Cobb's will save $12.7 million.

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jeepingmakooi's picture

October 21, 2018 at 09:16 am

Haha is going to stay... It's been in the news.. talked about... No talk on Cobb... Very very little on cm3... Plus being that haha is a fa no one will trade... Teams would rather just wait and offer him a deal after the season.... Also.. I would rather have Williams at fs and haha at strong.. both players can play both sides of the field. . Kentrell Brice is not a starting saftey level player in the NFL and it blows my mind how mm keeps playing him

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marpag1's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:46 am

EVEN IF Tramon is able to slide over and be competent at safety (which isn't exactly a given) he isn't likely to be better than Dix. More than that, the dude is a veritable dinosaur. Even now we need to keep an eye on his snap count because dudes his age break down. Sliding TWill to safety certainly can't be considered even remotely a long term solution. So trading Dix to plug a gap at OLB simply opens up another gap at safety, and we already need another safety even if we keep Dix.

Besides, I'd be flabbergasted if anyone gave a first for Dix.

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JLab3's picture

October 21, 2018 at 11:27 am

By virtue of having not already extended this guy the Packers have told the league they're lukewarm on his future in GB. Combine that with the potential of the acquiring team looking at an expensive contract extension I'm guessing the best you'd get for HHCD is a third or fourth rounder.

Given his time in GB if we could re run the 2014 draft would we give up a one or two for this player. No.

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Salvador Silva's picture

October 21, 2018 at 03:27 pm

I knew the packers were in trouble when it traded down in the draft, instead of staying put and taking Alexander... Not that alexander was bad. It's just the biggest need was an edge rusher.
I did not rely nor even believe that Perry, Mathews, or Gilbert was going to contribute. Not even a tad. To me Mathews should have been a goner long ago. He is just the same as his pal Brian Cushing, only Clay's team didn't get the message. What message? The message that Cushing was a killer in his early career, only to be just a body taking up space. That is all because the league was now looking for dirty players.
Which every player that was using stopped.

Clay was just on the dumber team. Texans cut Cushing loose after 2 injury plagued seasons. Now GB??? Losing put on 15 million a season for a name and roster spot wasted. The 15 million could have 3 young players with that kind of money and just maybe... maybe GB would have had mathews replacement long ago.
Perry I was just waiting for him to get injured. Gilbert... he's a guy from the practice squad. You don't rely on such players.

Now you would think the Packers would be smart and look to FA for pass rush help. Kony Ealy, Erik Walden, T. Hali, Cliff Avril, Aldon Smith, David Bass, Lamar Houston... someone in that pile can do better than what is on that roster.

They can have the money to sign players if they didn't waste it on Morrison, Crawford, Toomer. I would off Cobb and Bulaga to another team for 5th or 4th round picks. Just to free up the money to bring in the help.
Cobb and Bulaga are not going to do nothing but end up on the injured list again.

Them rookie receivers will get better with more playing time with cobb gone. GB can for once know that it needs a new right tackle with bulaga gone. At this guy's injury problems, just having a guy that will be there every week is better than bulaga.

Also another inside Linebacker is needed. Kevin Minter, Buchanon or even Navarro Bowman could bring something to the table to solidify the middle with Martinez.

What I don't understand about the inside LB position. The packers go and get Morrison/Crawford for run support. Than bring in Toomer for coverage duties. Meaning these guys are situational players.
Why sign three average LBs that are situational and not experienced. While they could have signed just one man in Navarro Bowman that can cover, give run support and also serve as a leader on defense... I am sure The 3 inside backers salary combined is the same as Bowmans salary. Only the packers will have 2 open roster spots that they can use elsewhere... 2 spots to help a offensive line become better. Like maybe bring jahri Evans back.

Questionable moves this team is making and they hardly make any sense.

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LeotisHarris's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Cliff Avril failed his physical, Aldon Smith hasn't played a down in the NFL since 2015 and will most likely end up in prison, Kony Ealy got whacked by the Cowboys in August, and is still floating in free agent land, as is poor Navarro Bowman and his bionic leg. I don't think Walden, Bass, or Houston are upgrades from what we have.

Clay still has gas in the tank. Seems a target for fans these days, but he'll continue to contribute. How "long ago" would you have parted ways with him? I don't recall any grumbling from fans when his deal was extended.

I don't get the hate for Bulaga. The guy is a stud, and has played through injuries. It's a game of attrition, and teams can never have enough big bodies. Bulaga is a Packer, say no more. Everybody needs healthy Tackles. Not sure there are any out there.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 21, 2018 at 04:10 pm

Go get Khalil Mack!! Problem solved!!

Oh wait. We passed on him. Sorry.

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LeotisHarris's picture

October 21, 2018 at 10:16 pm

Doug, Doug, Doug. The Packers made an offer, they just didn't mortgage the franchise like the 3-3 Chicago Bears did. Kahlil and his gimpy ankle couldn't stop the mighty Patriots today. That trade will cripple Chicago for years to come. Wait and see, friend.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 21, 2018 at 05:05 pm

No team's going to trade for Dix . Could see him playing in Dallas and they're pretty stupid, but that would be free agency.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

October 21, 2018 at 07:45 pm

Son, HHCD is only under contract for another what nine games. You are not going to get much for him. Better to let him paly it out for he is also auditioning for a future contract

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 22, 2018 at 11:15 am

It makes my head hurt that people here are using Tom S as a source or expert. It would be hard to find someone with less knowledge about the packers and the fact that he has access to Bulter is almost insulting. Reading comments is far more worthwhile then reading Tommy.

In partial answer to why INLB is gone....passing and not running. A couple of teams (Dallas in particular) are trying to reverse the trend of passing being way more valuable than running...how successful are they? They have the OL and Back in place.

Burnett started playing INLB for 2 reasons, he was a below average coverage S but good as an IN LB because the responsibilities and physical requirements are different. Plus green bay has one actual LB who has been successful as an IN LB (traditionally) and that is CM3 who is not playing that position (maybe he is not playing any position) and Blake M is probably better suited to be an OLB.

Watch the detroit running TDs, watch the 26 yards run in our last game. Nobody Blocks BM, nobody he just makes bad reads and wiffs.

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Jamie Freier's picture

October 22, 2018 at 03:59 pm

Easy trade HaHa for TJ LOL

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Rak47's picture

October 23, 2018 at 06:06 am

Not sure how this fixes the OLB/edge rusher position. Somehow he shifted from fixing a weak area of the defense to trading HHCD in a blink of an eye. Anyways there are some teams out of playoff contention already who may be willing to part with an edge/OLB like Arizona and Buffalo. Chandler Jones and Jerry Hughes are interesting prospects who are both in the last year of their contracts, so a sign and trade would be possible.

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