The NFL trade deadline is just two days away, and while most teams used to shy away from in-season deals, the last few years have actually been quite active. It’s possible the Packers will get in on the action as, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the team could be shopping starting free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
There are a lot of reasons this would make sense, as Clinton-Dix is in a contract year and they may seek to get value for him rather than re-sign him, or potentially lose him on the free agent market. Clinton-Dix is a controversial player, and that makes him a potentially lucrative trade chip. The scouting website Pro Football Focus thinks the world of him, and has him graded as the second best safety in the league so far.
The highest graded safeties in the NFL so far this season. pic.twitter.com/4JRxNQc0uO— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 27, 2018
It’s entirely possible that a few teams agree with this assessment, and it’s possible they would pay a pretty penny for his services.
That said, there are many analysts, myself included, who believe he is one of the league’s most overrated players, fattening up on tipped, or severely overthrown interceptions, but in reality playing an extremely tentative game that leaves the Packers’ defense playing 10-on-11.
The biggest issue with a potential trade is simply that the Packers have no depth at safety. Jermaine Whitehead and Raven Greene are unproven, and the Packer strong safeties lack the flexibility to move to free safety in a pinch. Some have suggested Tramon Williams can join the safety brigade with Breshaud Breeland now healthy, but this idea is pretty speculative. For all of his faults, Clinton-Dix at least knows where to stand.
In a vacuum, it would make more sense for the Packers to acquire a safety, not trade one away, but Clinton-Dix is a special case in a contract year. We don’t know how active Gutekunst may be at the deadline, but dealing away HHCD would be a major splash.