A year before Casey Hayward joined the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency, the Packers had lost Tramon Williams and Davon House, replacing them with Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the opening two rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft. And after promising rookie seasons for both Randall and Rollins, the Packers didn’t bring back Hayward the following offseason.
As it turned out, the Packers made a huge mistake. Neither cornerbacks remain on the roster, meanwhile Hayward has been dominant for the Chargers. Since leaving Green Bay, Hayward has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice, named an All-Pro twice, and he also led the NFL in interceptions in 2016. He has 50 pass defenses and 11 interceptions over the past three seasons.
While the Packers have improved greatly in the secondary with the addition of Jaire Alexander, a young star, as well as Kevin King and Josh Jackson, Hayward would be a perfect fit in this defense. Starting alongside Alexander, the Packers would have arguably the league’s best secondary.
Had Hayward stayed in Green Bay, the pass defense would’ve been in much better shape in 2016 and 2017. And who knows — maybe he could’ve made the difference in the NFC Championship Game defeat to Atlanta in 2016.
Hayward turns 30 in September, but he’d have been a star player in Mike Pettine’s defense.