Last season for the Green Bay Packers brought some tough blows in the injury department. One of which was losing All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander for the remainder of the regular season. Green Bay didn’t just lose a dominant defender, they lost a core leader to the locker room. Now, entering into this season, Alexander is set to return for the Packers and undeniably should be primed for yet another All-Pro caliber season.
When he made his return to Green Bay this summer, Alexander immediately made his impact known on the field to the rest of the team. Not only by being the ball-hawking terror to his fellow teammates, not only by attacking in every single drill in practice with an intense ferocity but also by being a leader to some of the new young wideouts the Packers have brought in this season.
“I’m going to make it as hard as I can for those guys because I know on Sunday it’s going to pay off. Iron sharpens iron,” Alexander said via USA Today’s Packers Wire. “However I can help to make them better, I’m going to do that.”
That’s just the type of player that he is. Alexander, since arriving in Green Bay in 2018, has been nothing but a leader and truly embodies the spirit of the organization. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Green Bay Packers placed all of their chips this offseason on securing a player like Alexander long-term. By May 16, Alexander got his due, signing a four-year, $84 million contract extension with the team, making him the highest-paid corner in the NFL based on his annual average salary.
It’s a hefty extension given out by the Packers, but one that further stressed the long-time Green Bay philosophy of paying your players first, no matter the cost. The extension for Alexander couldn’t have come at a better time and only adds more fuel to prove himself going into his fifth season in the NFL.
In Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, Alexander suffered a shoulder injury while tackling running back Najee Harris and was forced to miss the remainder of the regular season. Alexander was able to return for a brief stint during the playoffs, but not to the level that the Packers and the fans remembered him at.
With Alexander forced to the sideline, the Packers relied heavily on rookie Eric Stokes and free-agent acquisition Rasul Douglas to carry the load in the secondary. Stokes proved to be up to the challenge after being thrown against the fire prior to the season lining up against wide receiver Davante Adams in practice. As for Douglas, he managed to record five interceptions including a game-sealing grab against his former team, the Arizona Cardinals, in Week 8. Douglas, who was recognized as named a Pro Bowl alternate, was awarded a 3-year, $21,000,000 contract extension in Green Bay earlier this offseason.
Now that Alexander is set to return to the field in Green Bay, the Packers now boast one of, if not the, strongest trio at the cornerback position in the entire league. Alexander will look to return as the Packers’ leader in the secondary lining up against some of the league’s best wide receivers while moving around as a defensive chess piece for defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
Alexander has proven his worth as arguably the best cornerback in the entire league once before. With a new contract setting him at the top of the position across the entire league, Alexander is hungry to once again prove that’s still the case. Everything is set for Alexander to return to his former All-Pro self once more, and there’s a strong chance he comes through.——————
Kole Noble is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in North Carolina and is a huge NFL Draft nut. You can follow him on twitter at @SlawSportsShow.