Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been traded to the Redskins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). In return, Green Bay will receive a 2019 fourth-round pick, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The deal represents the latest blockbuster move on deadline day and the Packers’ second trade of the afternoon.
Before the Clinton-Dix deal, the Packers traded running back Ty Montgomery to the Ravens for a future 2020 seventh-round pick. The Montgomery trade was likely tied to discord between the player and the coaching staff, but the Clinton-Dix trade has more to do with finances. The young safety is in his contract year and he recently acknowledged that he is unlikely to re-sign with the team after shopping the open market.
“Right now, I’m playing each and every game like it’s my last. I don’t think I’m going to be here next year,” Clinton-Dix said earlier this month. “That’s how I look at it. I just (have to) be honest with myself. You’ve got to play it game-by-game. Whether we’re losing by 60 points, you’ve got to go out there and perform. This is my biggest interview of my career. So I’ve got to perform, regardless of what the record says.”
The 25-year-old (26 in December) was retained for 2018 via the fifth-year option which is paying him $5.957MM. He stayed away from voluntary OTAs in hopes of getting a long-term deal from the Packers, but that never came together.
In seven games this year (all starts), Clinton-Dix has three interceptions, one forced fumble, and a sack to his credit. On an individual level, the free safety is in the midst of a career year.
Clinton-Dix will join a safety group presently headlined by D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson. Rookie Troy Apke could have been on track for a larger role at some point this year, but he was recently placed on IR with a hamstring issue.
The Packers did not want to lose Clinton-Dix while only gaining some credit in the compensatory pick formula, but the deal unquestionably will cost them in the short term. At 3-3-1 in a closely contested division, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Packers in selling mode.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.