Growing up, many fans have favorite players that they watched play when they were kids. It varies for every team, back in the 80’s, many people grew up watching Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and Bo Jackson. Later, Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and many others are known for what they have brought to the game. For Packers fans today, it is most likely to be Brett Favre. He was energetic, crazy, and had a pure love for the game. There was nothing a Packers fan didn’t like about Brett Favre. You could see he was living every football player’s dream of becoming an NFL legend, let alone playing in the National Football League.
Today, teams change constantly. Unlike strategies in the past, today we want to win now, and if our team doesn’t, we want something changed immediately. Look at LeBron James with the Cavs. He left Cleveland to go win (now). He wanted a title, so he left his home state of Ohio for that reason. Of course he returned, but many fans burned his jersey and felt betrayed. With the NFL, this can be relatable to the Brett Favre situation. He wanted to keep playing football, and the Packers had moved on to the new, and young Aaron Rodgers. With NFL teams changing constantly from year to year, it is more about the money than ever before. NFL teams want us to buy a player’s jersey, buy their Fathead, and get gear that will identify us as Packers fans. Sometimes we get attached to a player, and feel sad or angry that a player chose to sign with another team. Sometimes we are happy when a player leaves. The infamous Brandon Bostick play in the 2015 NFC Championship Game proves it. For Packers fans, that has to be one of the hardest defeats in recent history to watch. With the Packers shedding off players for more cap space, or a younger player, it can be difficult to keep following a player after he has left the Packers. Here is a look at former Packers around the league, and some from the Canadian Football League, and how they are playing with their new teams:
Drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Packers, Casey Hayward had SIX interceptions in his rookie season with the Packers, almost a record (the record is ten by Irv Comp in 1943 with ten). After his rookie season, Casey played a lot of the Packers’ dime packages. In 2016, Hayward signed a three-year; $15.3 million deal with the San Diego Chargers. In San Diego, he led the NFL in interceptions with seven, and one of them being a pick-six. With San Diego so far, he has played in 16 games, starting 14 of them. He had 51 solo tackles, which is second best of his career, behind 56 in his last year with the Packers. Casey plays a lot on the outside of the secondary, holding his own and playing the ball fiercely. In Green Bay, Hayward did play both in the slot and on the outside, but San Diego has played him more often on the outside. Hayward is a great ball defender, and should help escalate the Chargers secondary in the upcoming season.
Nate Palmer was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Packers in 2013. Palmer had a short-lived career with the Packers, only lasting three years. Palmer had 62 total tackles in his time with the Pack, 47 solo tackles coming in 2015. After being released by the Packers, the Tennessee Titans picked up Palmer. Palmer did lead the Titans special teams with 12 total tackles in 2016, something that should not go unnoticed. He spent the 2016 season with the Titans, and then re-signed with them this past spring. His new deal consists of 2-years, and $2.3 million.
Tramon Williams was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He made his way on to the Packers squad by signing with the Pack later in that year (2006) after the short stint with the Texans did not workout. Tramon was a terrific player for the Packers, collecting 28 interceptions over the course of eight years. He was an absolute leader for the Pack, helping them win their fourth Super Bowl title in 2010. The Packers had seen Tramon in his prime, and wanted more, offering him a 2-year, $8 million deal. Following the money, Tramon took a three-year; $21 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. In two years with the Browns, Williams started 22 games, capturing just two interceptions. Recently, he separated with the Browns, and is currently a free agent. According to Dawgpounddaily.com, after being with a struggling team, Williams commented: ““At the end of the day, those guys were just going in a different direction. From the start of training camp to the beginning of the season, they were going in a different direction. And it came a point during the season to where I wanted to be released. That’s why we got released because it wasn’t a stable spot. It’s not a stable spot. You don’t know who’s going to be the coaches from year to year, and I didn’t know that so I didn’t want to be one of those veterans who is stuck in a spot and at the end of the day, I’m not going to be able to get a job because I was on a bad team. That’s why I wanted to get out of there.” The point being that good players do not want to be on a bad team. Without stability, success is a struggle to achieve. Currently, Tramon Williams is a free agent.
Andy Mulumba signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He was originally drafted by a team in the Canadian Football League, but opted to play for the Packers instead. With the Packers, Mulumba started just three games, and had just 36 total tackles and one sack. After tearing his ACL in 2014, his career with the Packers seemed to be dwindling. After he was released, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, and saw minimal action with them. He was signed in the spring of 2016 and released in the Fall of 2016. He then signed with the Oakland Raiders, and still resides with them today.
Chris Banjo was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 as an undrafted free agent, but was released soon after and then signed with the Packers. After having a stint on the Packers practice squad, Banjo was promoted on to the Packers active roster, where he saw a good amount of playing time. After four years with the Packers, Banjo recorded 38 total tackles for the Packers during the regular season. He made a large impact as a backup, fill-in role, and on special teams. The Packers then waived banjo in 2016. Banjo, looking to continue his career in the NFL, signed a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints. During his first year with the Saints, Banjo After the 2016 season with the Saints, Banjo only had five tackles, playing in just seven games. On March 7th, Banjo re-signed with New Orleans Saints with a 2-year, $2.6 million deal. Banjo is a player that has earned every minute of his playing time, and deserves every penny that he gets paid.
Sam Barrington was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Sam has been injured quite often during his career, with his first injury coming in the fall of 2013, right after he was drafted. This put him on injured reserve for a while. In his rookie year, he only played in seven games. In his second year with the Packers, he made a big leap and started seven games, while playing in double the amount—fourteen. Barrington’s most productive year was in 2014, where he had a total of 45 tackles, and one sack. After being released by the Packers in 2016, he then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he spent a couple of months before he was released again, and picked up by the Oakland Raiders, where he still plays today. The Oakland Raiders do have a decent defense, and with Sam Barrington at linebacker, he should add some depth.