This week, SB Nation NFL blogs are looking at their teams’ starts through six weeks to see what we can learn about the team. With the benefit of hindsight, we have been asked to brainstorm about things that teams would do differently in the offseason if they had known how the first six weeks of 2017 would play out.
For the Green Bay Packers, a few immediate issues come to mind, and all are injury-related. The Packers’ offensive line, particularly at the tackle position, has been decimated by injury. It’s so bad that the team was down to a four-guard lineup just a few weeks ago, with starting tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari down and reserves Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, and Don Barclay all landing on injured reserve.
The second area is the secondary, which has also taken the brunt of significant injury. Davon House has missed three games and most of a fourth, rookie Kevin King has been out for essentially the last two contests, and slot corner Quinten Rollins just landed on injured reserve. Add in the struggles of Damarious Randall (and his benching against the Bears) and the injury to Morgan Burnett — just as he was showing that he can be a viable slot corner — and you have a unit desperately in need of help.
Then we get to the quarterback position. The Packers obviously are in for struggles with Aaron Rodgers out due to a broken collarbone. However, would any of the veteran backups who were available in free agency have been any better in this offense than Brett Hundley will be? My suspicion is no.
That narrows our focus down to the tackle and corner positions. The Packers still have a chance to get their star tackles back soon, especially with a bye week coming up. And although the emergency players have struggled, they have at least given the Packers a chance to win games.
The cornerback position, on the other hand, could use a boost from a veteran player, particularly one who has experience playing in the slot and within the Packers’ defensive scheme. Positional versatility would also be a nice plus, and if he came with a contract that’s not hideous, that would also be excellent.
Enter Micah Hyde. The former Packers slot corner-slash-safety would have provided a steadying presence for the young secondary. Hyde would have been the team’s starting slot corner from day one, and he would have provided some critical depth at safety as well. As for his 2017, he leads the league with a career-high four interceptions and his contract — which carries a $4 million salary cap hit this season — should not have put the Packers in jeopardy of exceeding the cap.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Hyde would also provide value by remaining the Packers’ punt returner, a job at which Trevor Davis has failed to impress as yet.
Hyde’s departure for Buffalo was a moderate surprise in March, and the reports that the Packers did not even offer him a contract were even more stunning. This team as it currently sits would benefit from all of Hyde’s skills and all the different positions he is capable of playing.
If we could go back and chance one thing about the Packers’ offseason knowing what we know, it would be to bring Hyde back to Green Bay.