Brian Gutekunst left his first mark as the Packers GM trading Damarious Randall to the Browns for a quarterback that is still looking for his first NFL win. The Packers also swapped fourth- and fifth-round draft picks with the Browns, which should help them move up in the draft if they decide to pursue a trade. The Packers may have found their next backup in the process, but they just made the troubling depth at corner even more egregious. Free agency is far from over so now is not the time to panic when glancing over the Packers secondary. Chances are, it will look quite different come training camp. It may be hard to believe, but with Randall out of the picture, the Packers are headed in the right direction.
Randall was benched during week four’s game against Chicago when he lashed out at players and coaches on the sideline following a blown coverage. Randall called for more accountability from his teammates, while head coach Mike McCarthy urged Randall to take a hard look in the mirror.
“I’ll tell you what I told Damarious. He needs to focus on himself. He’s got to clean his own house. That’s what I look for him to do in the offseason,” McCarthy said in his season-ending press conference.
McCarthy didn’t know Randall would be walking out the door permanently in a little over two months, however, he probably wouldn’t have been opposed to the idea either.
McCarthy commended Randall for bouncing back following his benching and stated he was playing “the best football of his career.” Randall became the Packers go to cover corner when rookie Kevin King was lost to IR.
He made some splash plays, leading the team with four interceptions, but his coverage abilities were still far too inconsistent. Time and time again Randall struggled to get his head turned to locate the ball and was even caught in lazy trots while trailing his man going after a deep pass.
Damarious Randall vs Josh Gordon. No twitch on the slant where he fails to jam. Then gets toasted after lazy coverage. Bailed out by rookie Josh Jones. Glad he's gone. #SeeYa #Shipped #Packers pic.twitter.com/G32Vtoc55Q
— Brandon Carwile (@PackerScribe) March 10, 2018
Getting rid of Randall’s contract and absorbing Kizer’s did not save the Packers any cap space so clearly this was not a business motivated decision.
A report from ESPN’s Rob Demovsky came out following the trade that veterans on the team asked for Randall to be traded following his antics in week four. If true, it is likely the front office took this into consideration before negotiating the trade.
While Randall’s play may have been improving, he promptly chastised his defensive coordinator Dom Capers as he called the Packers defense ‘very predictable’ on the heels of a 35-11 loss to the Lions on Monday night football.
Somewhere along the way, Randall lost sight of what it meant to be a Packer. Wearing the Green and Gold is a privilege and he failed to hold himself accountable. Instead, he threw his coaches and teammates under the bus. The Packers would have been wrong to overpay Randall when his rookie deal ended in 2019. Gutekunst and McCarthy undeniably made the right call moving on from the former first-round pick who never lived up to that potential.