The San Diego Chargers announced their fourth addition to the team this offseason. On Sunday corner back Casey Hayward agreed to a three-year deal at a reported $15.3 million to come to San Diego and play for the Chargers. The franchise has been active early in the free agent market as they have already added Travis Benjamin, Brandon Mebane and Dwight Lowery.
The addition of Hayward helps soften the blow from losing Patrick Robinson to free agency. Behind Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers the Chargers have Craig Mager, Steve Williams and Greg Ducre as corner backs right now. Adding Hayward provides much needed depth.
Chargers have agreed to terms with former Packers CB Casey Hayward, source says. Helps mitigate loss of Patrick Robinson.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) March 13, 2016
Hayward brings a great dimension to the Chargers as he is very versatile. He is widely recognized as one of the best slot corners in the league. The 26-year-old corner also has the ability and speed to play on the outside which is an absolute blessing for the Bolts. Last season for the Packers Hayward graded out as the best cover corner on the teams roster by Pro Football Focus. The Packers will miss him, but they have younger corners that are ready to fill his shoes.
The $15.3 million is a little steep for Hayward, but he also could easily outperform the worth of this deal. The team will enjoy his versatility in the defensive backfield. Last season Hayward started 11 games but played in all 16 and recorded a career high 63 tackles. He failed to intercept a pass, but was very active and even started both playoff games for the Packers in 2015.
Hayward was drafted in the second round out of Vanderbilt in 2012. He had a great rookie year in which he picked off six balls and had 48 tackles. His second year hamstring injuries limited him to just three games and some indications are the injury limited him for the 2014 season as well. He had a sort of break out year with health last season and that resulted in effective play on the field. Keep an eye on the health of those hamstrings though.
Casey Hayward is not the biggest signing, but he will surely be a huge asset for the Chargers in 2016 and beyond. A great slot corner is hard to come by. Great pick up by Tom Telesco and the Chargers management. Makes me wonder if the team is not looking at Jalen Ramsey with the third pick. Perhaps the team could be looking to go in another direction with that first pick. We shall see.