Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is entering the final year of his contract, but the fifth-year standout isn’t optimistic that he’ll be donning the green and yellow after this season.
Speaking to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal, Clinton-Dix talked about how he’s approaching this season with the Packers, and he’s not expecting the team to resign him after 2018.
“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. “That’s how I look at it. I just (have to) be honest with myself…This is my biggest interview of my career. So I’ve got to perform, regardless of what the record says.”
As Wilde pointed out, Clinton-Dix was hoping the Packers would give him a long-term extension, but the team only gave the star safety a $5.957 salary after picking up his fifth-year option.
Drafted with the 21st pick by the Packers in 2014, Clinton-Dix quickly helped transform Green Bay’s struggling secondary into one of the league’s best. The 2016 Pro Bowler was key in helping them reach the 2014 and 2016 NFC Championship Games, though both resulted in heartbreaking losses.
Clinton-Dix has three passes defended and a trio of interceptions through Green Bay’s first five games. The secondary has been one of the few bright spots for Green Bay in 2018, sitting second against the pass (209 yards allowed through the air per game).
But the Packers have struggled on offense and against the run, resulting in a frustrating 2-2-1 start to the season. One of those wins was a big time comeback against the Chicago Bears in Week 1, and the other was an easy home victory vs. the lowly Buffalo Bills. Without Clinton-Dix, it’s easy to envision the Packers being a much worse team in 2018.
The Packers would take a massive risk in letting Clinton-Dix leave via free agency this offseason. He’s one of the top young safeties in the game, and they simply wouldn’t have a suitable replacement if Clinton-Dix departed.
But after the two sides failed to agree on an extension, and following what he had to say to Wilde, it’s easy to believe that Clinton-Dix is playing out his final days with the Packers.