In a move that should come as no surprise, cornerback Casey Hayward is now officially a former member of the Green Bay Packers. During the lead-up to free agency's beginning, it was widely believed that Hayward would depart in free agency, and it appears he has indeed chosen to do so.
Here is the report:
I'm told CB Casey Heyward has agreed to terms with the #Chargers.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) March 13, 2016
Many expected Hayward to clean up after hitting the open market, but it appears his contract demands became more reasonable as free agency wore on:
For the #Chargers and CB Casey Hayward, it's a 3-year deal worth $15.3M, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2016
CB Casey Hayward's deal with #Chargers is for three years and averages just more than $5 million per year. Guaranteed money: $6.8 million.— Bob McGinn (@BobMcGinn) March 13, 2016
Primarily a slot corner in his four-year career, Hayward will join the Chargers' cornerback room as a potential starter on the boundary who would likely slide into the slot in sub packages.
A second-round pick in 2012, Hayward has compiled nine interceptions and 35 pass breakups in 51 games (20 starts). He also has a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries to his credit. Playing primarily slot corner in his rookie year, Hayward nearly earned the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award, falling short to Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. That year, he started seven games and picked off six passes, breaking up 21 more.
For the Packers, the cornerback position remains in good hands. Sam Shields continues to man one starting boundary position, while last year's first-round pick, Damarious Randall, has grown into a viable starting option on the left side. Fellow second-year pro Quinten Rollins should compete for snaps in the slot, while additional young corners in LaDarius Gunter and Demetri Goodson will have an opportunity to carve out a bigger role on defense in 2016.