GREEN BAY — Ha Ha Clinton-Dix smiled, then shrugged several times. The Green Bay Packers safety doesn’t know if he’ll still be wearing green and gold come Wednesday, but he didn’t seem particularly angry, bitter or worried about it Monday.
Reported to be on the trade block — most notably by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport — Clinton-Dix said no one from the team has told him he’s being shopped and he’s not sure what to expect in advance of today’s NFL trade deadline.
“I’ve got about 24 hours and then we can talk,” Clinton-Dix replied when asked what he thought about the reports.
Asked if that conversation would be in the Packers’ locker room or over the phone from a new NFL home, Clinton-Dix replied, “I don’t know. You guys might be surprised.”
Clinton-Dix’s mood was friendly and even a bit playful. Asked what it feels like to know your team is looking to trade you, Clinton-Dix shrugged replied, “It is what it is. Business is business.”
When pressed on the subject by reporters, Clinton-Dix said, “I just want to surprise you guys. I kind of want to leave you fired up a little bit.” Then he laughed and walked away.
Clinton-Dix, who entered the league as the Packers’ 2014 first-round draft pick and went to the Pro Bowl in 2016, is set to become a free agent after the season. He told the State Journal earlier this month that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Packers next season.
“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 days after the Packers’ Week 5 loss at Detroit on Oct. 7. “That’s how I look at it. I just (have to) be honest with myself. You’ve got to play it game-by-game. Whether we’re losing by 60 points, you’ve got to go out there and perform. This is my biggest interview of my career. So I’ve got to perform, regardless of what the record says.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy had high praise for rookie cornerback Jaire Alexander, who tied for the team lead in tackles (seven) and broke up a team-high five passes while spending most of the game covering the Rams’ No. 1 receiver, Brandin Cooks.
“Jaire, I can’t say enough about the game that he put together over all four quarters,” McCarthy said. “I don’t recall seeing a young man, particularly a rookie, play at that level. It clearly was an ‘alpha’ performance, is the way we grade that.”
Alexander had missed the previous two games with a groin injury and his return allowed defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to play his top three cover corners — Alexander, second-year man Kevin King and veteran Tramon Williams — together. Williams and Alexander each played all 78 defensive snaps, while King played 76.
Asked about matching Alexander on Cooks, McCarthy replied in part, “It tells you the confidence of what the coaching staff and your teammates have in you to put you in that position. But you have to look at it from both sides of the ball. I think it says a lot about (Cooks), too, the fact that we think we have to put our best cover guy on that guy. So that’s one of the many things that makes this sport so great.”