There is no doubt that Micah Hyde had his best season with the Green Bay Packers in 2016. However, there is a question of whether or not he will return to the team next season.
After playing four seasons in Green Bay, Hyde is an un-restricted free agent. And after a season in which he posted 58 tackles, nine passes defensed and three interceptions, getting him back, might not be so easy.
Or so cheap.
With players like Hyde, the hard thing can be determining value. Once a player hits the free-agent market, if he is signed during the first week, teams often overpay. That’s not something the Packers are likely to do. And for a player like Hyde — they shouldn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Hyde. His versatility has proven his worth over and over again these past four seasons. His ability to move between a safety and nickel corner, even boundary corner at times is impressive.
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However, his coverage skills leave you wanting more. Hyde has safety speed and that limits him in coverage. Even against tight ends, he struggles at times. But, he is a valuable reserve and he can fill in for Morgan Burnett or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix if needed.
The best-case scenario with Hyde is using him in nickel and dime packages. But since Green Bay is in its sub packages so frequently, he becomes a significant player on the defense.
Yet, the biggest reason the Packers need Hyde are his ball-hawking skills. In the past three seasons, the former Iowa safety has eight interceptions. He also has six fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles during his career.
Hyde is a productive player. He always seems to be available and is productive on special teams. There also is no replacement for him currently on the roster.
Kentrell Brice may be able to handle his role on defense with an offseason of growth, but he can’t return punts, something Hyde does quite well. In fact, in four seasons, he has averaged 9.3 yards per return and scored three touchdowns.
The bottom line is that if the Packers let Hyde walk, they will miss him. He’s too valuable in too many areas. But that doesn’t mean Green Bay should overpay.
A good third safety/reserve corner is worth in the $3-4 million range. However, some team may believe Hyde should be a start and pay him more in the $5-6 million range. You just never know what will happen on the open market.
If the cost gets that high, I seriously doubt Ted Thompson will take the plunge, nor should he. Hyde said he wants to be back, so hopefully the Packers can get another home-town discount.
If not, Hyde may play somewhere other than Green Bay in 2017.