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Packers 2016 free agent preview: limited room for Casey Hayward

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Between Sam Shields and the Packers' 2015 rookie class, the team may not have any room left for veteran corner Casey Hayward.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company takes a look at each position group on the Green Bay Packers and provides grades and insight on how they performed in the 2015 season. Today, we examine the cornerbacks. Follow along with all of our positional breakdowns here.

To conclude our review of the Green Bay Packers' cornerbacks, we discuss the only player at the position headed towards free agency, Casey Hayward.

Casey Hayward

Years in NFL: Four
Status: Unrestricted free agent
Expiring contract: Four-year, $3,309,912 deal
2015 stats: 65 total tackles, seven passes defensed

Though he never quite reclaimed the form that made him a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate in 2012, Casey Hayward had a quietly solid season. The cornerback spent much of the first half of the year operating opposite of Sam Shields in the base defense, his longest exposure to boundary corner in his career to date. However, once Damarious Randall emerged as a viable option, Hayward shifted back inside to his more familiar slot position. He didn't record any interceptions, but he did a solid job covering slot receivers and didn't give up too many big plays.

Still, the arrival of Randall as well as Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter signaled that the Packers likely intend to let Hayward walk in free agency. He may not break the bank on his next deal, but the Green Bay defense has enough talented, cheaper options to pass. That leaves defensive lineman Mike Daniels as the only member of the team's 2012 draft class guaranteed to return next season.

Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an NFL writer for SB Nation and Sports on Earth and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.