How Much Would It Cost To Keep Casey Hayward?

The first round of free agency has come and gone and Casey Hayward still doesn't have a home.  How much would it cost the Packers to keep him in Green and Gold?

It’s a great time to be a NFL free agent and not so great a time to be an NFL team looking to take advantage of free agency.  At this point, we’ve seen some truly ridiculous contracts.  Quarterbacks in particular are way off common sense with even marginal starters hitting $18 million and even career backups getting $7 million with $12 million guaranteed.  The New York Giants and the Jaguars have been the biggest culprits so far, with the Giants investing over $200 million into their defense and the Jaguars picking up players like on premium contracts Malik Jackson, Tipshaun Gibson and Chris Ivory. 

In the opening flurry of activity of free agency, naturally general manager Ted Thompson did not make a deal.  Packers fans and media are probably used to that by now and if only for this year should be plenty happy that the Packers didn’t get into a bidding war because money was being given out like candy.  While the Packers didn’t bring in anyone new, they also didn’t see any of their own find new homes.  The first wave of free agency saw a cold market for both BJ Raji and Casey Hayward.  Raji almost seems destined to remain with the Packers but seeing Hayward miss the opening rounds of free agency was a little surprising. 

So what is Hayward worth?  The ceiling this year was the contract signed by Janoris Jenkins for $62.5 million over 5 years with $28 million guaranteed.  Jenkins however is a premier perimeter cornerback and was paid by the Giants as such.  The floor at this point is the contract signed by Ron Brooks for $5.5 million for 3 years with $1.5 million guaranteed; Brooks was near the bottom of the depth chart for the Bills and perhaps a little surprisingly was deemed a priority for the Eagles.  Obviously Hayward falls somewhere in there but unfortunately there aren’t many great comparisons this year. 

The two best comparisons would be the Seahawks Jeremy Lane’s contract worth $23 million over 4 years with $11 million guaranteed and Tracy Porter’s contract worth $16.5 million over 3 years with $5.5 million.  Both were resignings as Porter and Lane stayed with the Bears and Seahawks respectively and both have missed time over the last couple of seasons due to injuries.  Lane is closer to Hayward’s age (26) at 25 compared to Porter who is 29 but Porter has logged more similar statistics to Hayward over the last 3 years, with identical interception numbers and nearly identical tackle numbers. 

Both Lane and Porter’s contracts average out to about $5.5 million a year, which is where I think Hayward will naturally fall into, if not a little lower.  Unlike Davon House, who somehow netted an enormous deal with the Jaguars last year, Hayward perhaps flashed to early (his rookie season that almost netted him rookie of the year honors), didn't do particularly well on his contract year and doesn’t have the physical make-up of a tall or physical cornerback to project into something other than strictly a nickel back.   

Also keep in mind Hayward has not established himself as a true #1 or #2 corner, Sam Shields definitely ahead of him and Damarious Randall and maybe even Quinten Rollins in the mix for the #2 spot.  Hayward might not even be the #1 slot back with Micah Hyde being too good of a player simply to sit on the bench.  Add to that Hayward’s injury history and the issue that he was given a shot to be a #1 perimeter corner last season and didn’t do anything with it and it’s easy to see why the market has been cold.  On the other hand, potential sells and I would have thought that some desperate team would see Hayward at worst as one of the best slot corners and paid him something big. We saw that happen with Davon House last year and I would argue that Hayward is a far superior defender than House. 

While the Packers have invested heavily in the defensive secondary over the last couple years, there really isn’t much financial incentive to not get a deal done with Hayward.  While Shields’ contract looked a little onerous when it was signed, Adam Pac Man Jones just resigned with the Bengals for a $6.6 million dollar deal and Shields is a way better player (and person) than Jones.  Randall and Rollins will be on rookie deals for the near future and Morgan Burnett has already been paid.  The only big ticket free agent coming up in the back half is probably Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but the Packers can exercise their 5th year option and overall the safety position is still lagging behind other positions in terms of salary.

Given Randall and Rollins are still developing and the general trend of spread offenses with multiple receivers, more and more cornerbacks and safeties will be needed.  If Hayward is still on the market at this point, then he shouldn’t cost a premium, and if he doesn’t cost a premium, then the Packers should try to resign him.    

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Comments (46)

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D Ernesto's picture

March 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Ya Ted better sign all his people or he may have to go free agency and spend a buck. I feel for the pack fans. Your comp is active in free agency and getting better dailly

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Packer_Pete's picture

March 11, 2016 at 01:14 pm

I have never heard of a team which improved in March other than on paper and also won the SB in March. Did the Giants with Vernon or Houston with Osweiler suddenly become SB favorites? Let this all play out and we'll talk again in September when the season starts...

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:19 pm

It's like this every year, so I wouldn't feel for pack fans. We're all used to it now, and hey the Packers end up being pretty good every year.

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Big Moe's picture

March 11, 2016 at 07:50 pm

There was a stat posted here on Cheeseheadtv which showed the win% of the big spenders in free agency compared to the Pack and the Steelers it was laughable G.B. was .700 Pit .688 or so and the big spenders around .450 I'll look and see if I can find it.

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TommyG's picture

March 11, 2016 at 07:57 pm

That stat was fun to read about, but that type of stat always leaves out a glaring fact: that none of those teams (except one) has a HOF QB at the helm. If TT really opened the wallet, GB would dominate.

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Big Moe's picture

March 11, 2016 at 07:58 pm

This was it,

"Per Jason Wilde:

'Per @ESPNStatsInfo, 10 of 15 teams ranked in top 3 in FA guaranteed spending since '11 did not improve win total. Only 2 of 15 made playoffs'

'Via @ESPNStatsInfo: Win % of teams spending most FA gtd money since 2011:
1. Dolphins .438
2. Colts .538
3. Buccaneers .287
4. Jaguars .238'

'Via @ESPNStatsInfo: Win % of tms spending least FA gtd money since '11:
29. Cowboys .500
30. Bengals .656
31. Packers .706
32. Steelers .613' "

This was it. Go Pack.

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NickPerry's picture

March 12, 2016 at 07:52 am

LOL...Sorry Big Moe... I pasted the article before I saw you posted the actual content....Good Job. Have we heard from Ernesto since????????

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NickPerry's picture

March 12, 2016 at 07:55 am

Ernesto, at times I share your opinion about Free Agency and TT. Green and Trevathon are the only FA's I wish Ted would have looked at, but with that said there's still several excellent players out there that the Packers could sign and be much better as a result.

AND THEN THERE'S THIS...Now don't you feel silly for feeling bad for Packers fans?? I suggest you read it before feeling sorry for us, or any of the other 2 teams who have WON MORE. The Packers have spent less than 31 other teams since 2011 yet have the HIGHEST win %......Keep talking, you're funny!!!

BTW... Who is your team Ernesto??? You talk a lot here but clearly hate the Packers. I'd say the Bears or Vikings.

http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/28495/where-was-pack...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 12, 2016 at 02:03 pm

I love stats, but this stat is dumb. It proves nothing. 3rd time it has been posted here, I did my best to demolish it once, and imo I think I did. Here is the short version:

Rankings can be dumb, and here it actually is. GB is 31st in FA spending with $7.6 million in guaranteed money spent (Peppers, I guess $100K on Guion, maybe other tiny amounts) and Dallas is 29th, but Dallas spent 3 to 4 times more than GB with just a cursory look. Dallas spent $25 million on Brandan Carr and at least $5 million more on Orton for at least $30 million in FA guaranteed money, plus whatever Dallas spent on other players I did not find in my research. Miami gets ranked high mostly due to giving Suh $60 (freaking) million in guaranteed money in 2015 but that did not affect Miami´s won/loss record in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Miami also had some dumb contracts with Wallace ($30 million guaranteed) and Ellerbe ($14.5 million), both in 2013. Miami´s W/L record might have something to do with losing their starting LG and RT (Incognito and Martin) out of the blue in 2013. What would our record be if Bulaga and Sitton had been lost permanently in 2013 with no warning?

2nd, 2 of the 4 top spending teams had reasonably good records (Indy and Miami). 50% correlation is not much. Flip a coin, anyone?

The only correlation I see is that teams with a franchise QB or a reasonable facsimile (Aaron Rodgers, Rothlisberger, Dalton (same career QB rating as Luck) and Romo among the 4 teams who spent the least and Tennenhill and Luck among the teams with the most spending have decent to very good W/L records. Is anyone surprised? Teams that had garbage at QB for most of the time frame have bad records. Jacksonville and Tamba Bay now have hope at QB in Winston and Bortles, so I expect this stat to get blown out of the water when those teams start winning.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 12, 2016 at 06:02 pm

Looking at Indy. In 2015: They signed Gore 3/$12, $6.5g, Kendall Langford 4/$17 $2.5g, Andre Johnson 3/$21 $10g (cut already) and Trent Cole 2/$14, $7g $26 million total guaranteed.

2014: Arthur Jones 5/$33, $10g, Vontae Davis 4/$36 $15g, Hakeem Nicks 1/4, ILB DaQuell Jackson 4/$22 $10.1 g, Ahmad Bradshaw1/855k, , Sergio Brown, 1/$1.4 $300k g (got a raise the next year), $35.4 guaranteed total.

2013 Donald Thomas, 4/$14, $1g?, Hasselback $2/8, OL Greg Toler 3/$14, $5g, SS LaRon Landry 4/$24 mill, $11g, OT Cherilus 5/$35, $16g, butler 2/4, D/L Francois 4/22, $6.5g (guarantee is fine, but Francois got $11 million in the first year!) Eric Walden 4/$16, $8g. Most started, none were good except Francois and Walden were ok (laugh GB fans, but they started Walden last yr even though his dead money was $500k and his cap was $4.25 million, he did have 12 sacks for Indy in 3 yrs - how exactly does Walden differ from Neal, even Perry?), rest were busts. $47 million guaranteed total.

2012 DE Cory Redding 3/$10.5 (?G$), SS Tom Zbikowski 3 yrs/? ?G$, WR Donnie Avery, NT Brandon McKinney 1/$730K, OG Mike McGlynn, C Samson Satele 3/$10.8, $5g, and QB Drew Stanton. Geez, I cannot find $ info on these guys. Note that Avery would have cost decent $ and Satele replaced a still good Jeff Saturday who signed with NE. Saturday was better than Satele, but it counts as guaranteed money in this stupid stat. New GM Griggson, still is the GM.

2011 DE Jamaal Anderson 1/1.3, QB Dan Orlovsky, LB Ernie Sims, DT Tommie Harris. All one year deals done in August. Cannot find $ on these guys, but probably small. Polian was GM and fired at the end of season.

So, 2013, 14, 15 saw the Colts dole out $108.4 million in guaranteed money, or $36.1 million per year. Their record: 2-14 in 2011, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, and 8-8. Note that the bad years correspond to Peyton´s injury with the plummet to 2-14, and they go to 11-5 with Luck for 3 years. The other bad year was 2015 and an 8-8 record, in which Luck played just 7 games, and he was not very good in those games, posting just a 74.9 rating.

My conclusion is that FA spending is not causative factor in W/L record. Indy did not dip into FA much under Polian who was GM through 2011. If 2011 record is removed, Indy record is 41-23, or .670 winning % (which is better than the Cowboys, Steelers, Pitt, and reasonably close to GBś winning %), despite spending at least $113 million, or about FIFTEEN freakin times the amount of guaranteed money in FA that GB has.

The best correlation is who is playing QB,

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Razer's picture

March 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

After Hayward's rookie season, I had such high hopes for him. No doubt his hamstring problems set him back. He just doesn't seem to make good game decisions. Too often on the wrong side of a play or giving up too much ground to a receiver, it seems that he is one step behind. I am not surprised that both our rookies got the nod over Hayward on the outside.

Since CBs are a prime commodity you gotta wonder why he hasn't been picked up by now. Perhaps the other teams see the same thing or scheme for Hayward. Either way, I am not surprised that Ted didn't work out a deal. He's waiting to see what fair market value is for Hayward.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:23 pm

Hayward is probably testing the waters as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see most upcoming free agents for the Packers have a lower standing offer should free agency not turn out well. For Hayward maybe something along the lines of $3.5-4 million a year. Hayward likely thinks he's worth more than that and wants to see what other teams think. If it's lower, then he resigns with the Packers, if it's higher by a little maybe the Packers match. If it's way higher then he walks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

IIRC our cap space was about $19 million before Perry, so I'll assume it is now around $14 million (unless it turns out Perry's contract has a bunch of not expected to be earned incentives). I'd guess that we need $3 million for the draft ($11 mill left and I suspect that TT would prefer to roll over a fair amount given next years list of FAs). Still waiting on Raji, Starks, Q, Tolzien, maybe Neal, Kuhn and even Goode. Barclay and JJ may be gone. One should at least consider the notion that TT might yet find a FA, perhaps a TE or ILB.

IMO, depth at DB is always nice, but it would be hard for me to envision TT pulling the trigger on Hayward unless he is real cheap, perhaps a max of $3 mill AAV or loads of incentives.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:25 pm

I think $3-4 million average would be a fair deal for both sides, given how unknown Hayward is at this point. Thompson usually values his own draft picks more than the rest of the league but he makes up for that by not overpaying for big name free agents.

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meatstyk's picture

March 11, 2016 at 07:28 pm

Ive read that we need $5 mil for the draft so that leaves about $9 mil. Dont forget about all the free agents coming up next year.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

March 11, 2016 at 11:33 pm

Great, according to my calculations, THE Pack should be at roughly $12.5 million of cap space now and need to keep enough for draft pick signings. One site states that with the new compensatory picks, it will cost THE Pack another $6.5 million total to sign the draft picks as it currently stands. You would think this leaves you with only $6 million in cap-space, but since the top 51 is all that figures in the cap and that some of these players will replace others in the TOP 51, it ends up being less. So probably, $8-9 million is left in cap-space. I'm guessing that TT would want to hold onto some of this to roll-over for next year or restructure contracts on pending free agents during the season. How much did THE Pack roll over last year? .....After writing this I see Meatstyk put this much more succinctly. Regardless, nice to know we are pretty much the same with the calculations. Realistically, a couple of additional signings are all that is left in the wallet if the numbers are correct, but I believe any such signing, may be later in the year now....exception Raji and/or Starks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 12, 2016 at 07:44 pm

It is usually considerably less than the rookie pool number. How much less depends on the rule of 51 and which players are displaced by the draftees. $2 million roughly is probably safe, $3 million almost certainly is. though I do have to say, looking at overthecap, I do not see that many guys whose release would be a significant savings. Boyd, Goodson, Palmer, one of Janis/Abby, Bradford, come to mind. Very unlikely guys such as Hyde, Datone, I suppose. One way or another, we have to figure that 5 to as many as 10 new players make the roster, meaning that some guys have to go.

Randall: cap # $1.4, displaces X w cap of $435. Net +1 mill.
Rollins: cap $680K displaces Y w cap of $435 Net +$245K
Monty: cap # $572K displaces Z w cap $435 Net +$137K
Ryan: cap # $549 displaces P w cap of 435 Net +$114K
Hundley cap $490K displaces Q w cap $435 Net +$55K
Ripkowski cap $461 displaces R cap of $435 net +26K
Backman cap $457 displace cap # $435 Net +$22K
Ringo cut original cap roughly = Backman Net +$22K

Worst case the 2015 draft class cost $1.621 to sign. It is possible that the player who gets displaced is not making the minimum. In a sense, Hundley has displaced Tolzien and his $1.35 million cap hit, but it was a year later. Should GB draft a stud DE and OLB, maybe Boyd (cap $711K - dead $36K though - gets cut and Datone is a surprise cut. Maybe. Rule of thumb is to take the rookie pool and subtract $450K x # of picks. In 2015 our rookie pool number (set after the draft) was $5.123 million. We had 8 picks times the min of $435K = $3,480,000. $5.123 - $3.48 =$1.643 million (which is very close to what I went through with each of our picks above. Again, this is the worst it could be short of TT trading up to the 6th pick in rd one. The cap charge for #6 is over $3.5 mill instead of Randall´s $1.439 million.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

March 13, 2016 at 04:00 pm

You appear to be right, Rey. I quickly did some rude calculations and recognize I screwed-up by counting the Packers whole draft pool in the TOP-51 instead of those that would likely count against the pool. And, I took off the lowest replaced salaries which would not take into account the replacement of higher salaries if certain players are cut, which is a possibility. My new calculation is $10.5 - 11 million ballpark. Does this jive with your numbers, Rey?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 14, 2016 at 02:08 am

Yes, more or less. I'd guess (without seeing the particulars on Perry's contract - since it's a 1 year contract, hard to shift the cap hit but it could have incentives) that GB has about $12 million. Overthecap has GB with $19,142,706 in cap space, minus $5 or so for Perry leaves $14.1, minus draft of about $2 leaves about $12, give or take.

I think TT would be imprudent not to retain at least $5 (I'd prefer $7) million. That pays for any June 1 cuts or other street FAs he might want to pick up late, like JJ last year, and for in-season pick-ups like Cedric Benson a few years ago, and any remainder can be rolled over.

So, GB technically has perhaps $12 million to spend if TT wants to, but he'll want some to roll over, leaving GB with $5 to $7 million to sign some guys, perhaps Raji, Starks, Kuhn, or some FA later. That doesn't mean that TT can't free up some space if something comes up or someone is too good to pass on, or just not retain as much as I'd like for next season, or TT could just roll most of the $12 million over to next year.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 11, 2016 at 01:04 pm

"How Much Would It Cost To Keep Casey Hayward?"

Too much.

Ever since he tore his hammy is diminished athletically. Invest eslewhere.

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Rossonero's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:10 pm

He also had the foot surgery and seemed like he lost a step.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:26 pm

If it were for league minimum would you sign him? I sure would. Now is he the next Richard Sherman? Of course not. His value lies somewhere between those two extremes and the Packers would by stupid to not try to resign him at the right price.

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Rossonero's picture

March 11, 2016 at 06:50 pm

For the league minimum only, yes, but realistically, that will not happen.

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The TKstinator's picture

March 12, 2016 at 11:21 pm

GB rarely signs any player for other than the right price.

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Rossonero's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:18 pm

Hayward would be wasted dollars when CB is our deepest position. He struggled badly on the outside, was average (at best) in zone coverage and never had a sack in 4 years. His hamstring and foot injuries mean he unfortunately is not the same player we saw in 2012 with so much promise. It's frustrating because I was so excited about him.

Ted won't pay a guy who only plays well in the slot. Let Gunter, Goodson and Rollins show what they can do. Save the money for when it counts -- in 2017.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:29 pm

Never having a sack is a pretty pointless statistic for a cornerback. Richard Sherman has had 1 sack in the last 4 years. Ted will pay for a guy who only plays well in the slot for the right price. Hayward is a far superior player to Goodson and Gunter likely can't play in the slot.

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Rossonero's picture

March 11, 2016 at 07:00 pm

Fair enough on the sacks. At the same time, what about interceptions? After 6 his rookie year, he only had 3 in 3 years. The Packers like versatility, not one dimensional guys who are average at one thing, i.e. Playing in the slot. Micah Hyde can play the slot, as can Rollins, for a lot less money too. Neither one of those guys' development is aided by bringing Hayward back.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:28 pm

I'm always sad when any of the Packers players left the team. But, that is life... And business... You have to have the best to be the best... I wish all of Packers FA the best in their lives, but Ted has to take care of the football operation, not to take care of every one Packer player... So, I do not see Ted will sign Casey, whatever the price will be... (possible compensatory pick too!)

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sonomaca's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:28 pm

Everyone's forgetting about Gunter, a guy who can cover and lay the wood. I think the Packers don't really need Hayward.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:31 pm

The biggest problem with Gunter is speed; he simply can't match up well with faster receivers, especially if he can't jam them at the line. I would argue that if Gunter had 4.3-4.4 speed or lower he would have been drafted in the top 3 rounds last year.

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holmesmd's picture

March 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

I call BS. Stop with all of this track meet stuff. The guy can play. Every time I see him in coverage he is stuck to his guy.Watch football and don't focus on 40 times. He's a fiesty corner who can cover probably better than many. You can't play CB in Miami and be slow. I watch tape, not the underwear olyimpics. Lol. The kid has great size and can play. He's on the 53 for a reason.

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sonomaca's picture

March 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Gunter's tremendous with his hands at the line. He doesn't have blazing speed, but he always seems to be in position. He is a hard hitter and a big dude for a corner.

Plus, he's got a great mentor in fellow "U' man Shields.

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hobbes's picture

March 15, 2016 at 11:41 am

I have watched tape of him and he's slow. He makes up for it by having fantastic hands and a physical mentality. He's great at rerouting receivers at the line and playing bump and run. He's also decent at playing off coverage, but he's going to have trouble if he's lined up right in front of a receiver and fails to get a jam, it could be a rub or a quick route. Against NFL caliber receivers in the Desean Jackson mold he's going to have trouble

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Littlejim51's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:30 pm

Agree he only plays well in the slot and if he can make big money playing out of position go for it. Nice player on the inside and worth keeping around but not for sam shields type money
TT and MM, I am still waiting "TO BE SHOCKED"....???!!!!

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sonomaca's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:30 pm

Oh, lest I forget Daniel Robertson. Packers LOVE him.

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sonomaca's picture

March 11, 2016 at 02:34 pm

Actually, it's Robertson Daniel. My bad.

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meatstyk's picture

March 12, 2016 at 04:21 pm

Id like to hear more about that guy.

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sonomaca's picture

March 13, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Packers love this guy. 4.46, 24 reps, 35 1/2" vert, 10' 6" broad,

You might think, ok, he's one of those small, speedy corners. Wrong, guy is 6' 1" and 210 pounds. I have no idea how the Raiders let him get away.

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sheppercheeser's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:04 pm

I think it's pretty funny to be talking about retaining Hayward but at the same time showing him getting burned by Fitzgerald and knocked out of the playoffs!

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:32 pm

It fit the requirements of being a landscape photo we had rights to with Hayward in it. I'm not saying the Packers should break the bank for Hayward, I'm asking how much would it cost to keep Hayward.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2016 at 06:31 pm

"... showing him getting burned by Fitzgerald "

You mean Michael Floyd?

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CallingIt's picture

March 11, 2016 at 03:29 pm

I'm thinking that Hayward is probably at a position of least need at the moment. Funny saying that considering where we were prior to last year's draft. I expect there is no hurry there. If, after the draft, he is still unsigned, maybe we try to work something out, or probably more than likely save the cash for next year's FA's.

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hobbes's picture

March 11, 2016 at 06:25 pm

I don't he'll last past the draft, some team will sign him before that. If he doid last past the draft, then Thompson could probably sign him to a veteran minimum or a low multi-year deal way below the $5 million mark that I'm guessing he will command.

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dobber's picture

March 12, 2016 at 06:31 pm

You can never have enough good cover guys.

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sonomaca's picture

March 13, 2016 at 12:16 pm

I'd agree with that, since they're hurt so much. However, the Packers have to keep an eye on the cap. Next year, you've got their 3 best players on the O-line up for renewal. Do you really want to invest that much in Hayward?

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JerseyAl's picture

March 13, 2016 at 08:56 pm

"Both Lane and Porter’s contracts average out to about $5.5 million a year, which is where I think Hayward will naturally fall into, if not a little lower."

Nice call, Thomas - right on the money (pun intended).

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