The Green Bay Packers (1-2) clearly have had their fair share of problems in the defensive secondary, allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 311 passing yards per game (fifth-highest average allowed in NFL) on the young 2013 season.
With the trade rumors surrounding Buffalo Bills (2-3) Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, it would be exciting to see Byrd roaming around in the Packers defensive secondary, but it likely won’t happen during the course of this season.
Byrd, who was franchised by the Bills in training camp and has yet to play this season because of a plantar-fasciitis injury, has been quite a game-changer in the defensive secondary in his career. In four seasons (all with Buffalo), Byrd has 308 total tackles, two sacks, has forced ten fumbles and recorded 18 interceptions.
The Packers though return their “quarterback of the defense”, fourth-year safety Morgan Burnett, for the first time this year against the Detroit Lions (3-1). The Packers are finally getting healthy on the defensive side of the football and feel they have a lot of depth at the safety position.
Under the operation of General Manager Ted Thompson, the Packers do not like to swing in-season deals to the liking of the potential of acquiring a player like Byrd. Typically when trading for those kind of players, one trade partner typically has to give up high draft choices. Thompson would obviously be the one who would have to give up the high draft picks in that scenario and that certainly wouldn’t happen.
For example, during the 2010 season, the Bills put running back Marshawn Lynch on the trade market. The Packers had “interest”, but Thompson never completed a deal with Buffalo, as the Bills ended up trading Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks. Later that same season, the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, without jeopardizing their upcoming NFL Draft.
Let’s say the Packers would’ve had to give up a second-round draft pick for Lynch though and still won Super Bowl XLV. If the Packers would’ve traded a second-round draft choice for Lynch, Green Bay wouldn’t have offensive weapon Randall Cobb (Cobb was selected by the Packers with the 64th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft).
Yes, Lynch and Cobb are two of the NFL’s most dynamic offensive weapons today, but the point is that the Packers trust their system too much. When the Packers make a significant roster move, it usually falls in line with promoting a player from the practice squad to the active roster.
If the Packers defensive secondary though continues to struggle, even with Burnett’s presence, Byrd wouldn’t be such a bad guy to go after in free agency next season. Only in that case and that case only, is the only way I could see Byrd pairing up with Burnett in the Packers secondary, because Thompson and the Packers would have nothing to lose and more to gain.
The Packers are not going to give up on Burnett and young safeties Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings and Chris Banjo anytime soon. As awesome as the look and sound of Byrd donning a Packers uniform, please Packer fans I urge you, for the sake of your sanity, don’t expect that to happen … at least this year.