It’s been a rough week for Packer cornerback fans. Sam Shields was signed by the Los Angeles Rams, which makes me both incredibly excited and sad he’s moved on from Green Bay. Then the Packers made a surprise trade to send Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns for the 22 year old quarterback, DeShone Kizer and the right to swap picks with Cleveland in the 4th and 5th rounds, giving Green Bay the first pick in each round.
I was the opposite of excited when the trade news first hit, but over the evening it started to make more and more sense. The Packers moved up in the draft, didn’t give up any picks, got a young quarterback with talent, and moved on from a talented player who has one year left on his rookie deal. Unfortunately, moving on from their best cornerback is obviously a huge risk for the organization. Perhaps Randall was an issue (Rob Demovsky, ESPN) for the locker room, but giving up talent at the team’s weakest position for a back up quarterback is, still not sitting great.
I do think Cleveland won this trade, they got rid of a quarterback they openly stopped believing in around week ten, and the banished Packers regime acquired a talented player who showed that he can play at a high level for the second time in his three year career. But, even though the Browns probably won the trade, the vision of the trade from new Packers GM Brian Gutenkunst does make a lot of sense, and obviously it’s not my vision. The trade could look a lot better by training camp.
My biggest takeaway from the trade is one that many Packer fans have been pushing for this past week. Let’s sign Richard Sherman, and so far, it looks like a long shot.
Richard Sherman could be seeing Seattle twice a year:
Sherman is scheduled to meet today with 49ers’ officials, sources tell ESPN. 49ers want to make sure Sherman healing from injuries, and if both sides pleased with meeting, they will try to get contract done, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2018
Another takeaway from this trade, Green Bay almost certainly has a high belief in second year player Kevin King. He showed the ability to stay with Julio Jones early in the season, but overall anyone outside of the organization doesn’t have much of a feel for King. He’s tough, has the physical tools, and a small sample size of being able to cover the opposing number one receiver.
Outside of Kevin King, the cornerback position is just in shambles. Davon House had a respectable season, but he was only signed to a one year deal. Quinton Rollins has struggled so far during his career, and is coming off an Achilles tear, which makes him a long shot to be productive. The sad life of ex ballers. Josh Hawkins reminds me of Micah Hyde in the respect that they both always feel like they’re one step away from making the play. And that leaves us with Lenzy Pipkins who showed potential last season, but is another undrafted free agent that the Packers probably don’t want to put a lot of pressure on.
And finally, let’s back track and talk about DeShone Kizer. Admittedly, I have some anti-Notre Dame biases, although Brady Quin and Jimmy Clausen did make that easy. So far, Kizer looks to be the third stooge, but he deserves some benefit of the doubt since he was essentially playing for the 2015 Philadelphia Sixers.
Kizer started 15 games for the Browns, winning none of them, but more disturbing, he had a 2:1 interception to touchdown ratio. He also only completed 53.6% of his passes last year, with his best game coming against the Packers, where he completed over 60% for just the second time all season.
Nevertheless, I still believe in Mike McCarthy and the new look Packers coaching staff to help the young quarterback make strides. The acquisition does remind me a little of when Mike Sherman signed former Browns number one overall pick Tim Couch as a potential successor to Brett Favre. Just like then, I’m not buying into the idea of the former Browns quarterback becoming the successor to the Packers future hall of fame quarterback. That being said, he does have talent and a blank slate, which could lead him to becoming a nice trade asset for the Packers, or at worst an average back up quarterback. Sending one of the defenses few play makers out the door is a risk, but we have a long ways to go before summer.