Remember when we talked about the Green Bay Packers’ biggest offseason need prior to the 2017 season? It was cornerback, after a disastrous season that put the Packers second-to-last in pass defense.
In hindsight, you could make an argument that it was actually edge rusher. However, the Packers brought a mostly-healthy Clay Matthews and a resurgent Nick Perry into the season. Perry was a disappointment, again. Matthews can’t do it by himself.
But let’s revisit history. The Packers could have, at some point or another, manned their secondary with guys not named Quinten Rollins, Josh Hawkins or Lenzy Pipkins. Although Pipkins might actually be pretty good, I think we all might have preferred these options in 2017.
A.J. Bouye, Jacksonville Jaguars — 56 tackles, six interceptions, second-team All-Pro
Bouye, a former undrafted guy, was a free agent. He had a career year with the Houston Texans in 2016, even though he had only one pick. It’s because teams weren’t challenging him. Opposite Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville — who is a first-team All-Pro — Bouye got challenged and he delivered.
Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots — 50 tackles, two interceptions
We might have missed on this one. Gilmore, like Bouye, was also a free agent. The Patriots quickly scooped him up. And we’re not saying that was a bad move. We’ve just heard uneven things about his performance. That said, he’s pretty LIKELY better than Davon House. You know, just pointing out the obvious.
Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots — 60 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles
We continually screamed for the Packers to make a trade for Butler all offseason. He was definitely on the market after the Pats signed Gilmore. Would the Packers do such a thing? Noooooooo. He’s 27, he’s a playmaker, he’s potentially a No. 1. But hell, let’s sit on these draft picks. Fortunately, Butler is a free agent in March. If Brian Gutekunst wants to make a splash, there it is.
Tramon Williams, Arizona Cardinals — 41 tackles, two interceptions
At the time Tramon was released by the Cleveland Browns, we were against the Packers even thinking about re-signing him. I mean, something about the stench of the Cleveland Browns. But it turns out, the Browns don’t ruin good players, good players are just ruined by being associated with the stench of the Browns. Much to my surprise, Tramon was pretty damn solid for the Cardinals in 2017. He’s nearing the end of the line, but I was impressed. And I will always love Tramon Williams.
And I’m just going to throw this up one more time for my boy. Game Fucking Over!