I think we can all agree that Casey Hayward has been flat out amazing this season. He has been the ONLY bright spot in the secondary this season with Jason Verrett on IR, Brandon Flowers injured every other week, and Eric Weddle now in Baltimore.
So I was surprised when I followed the link in this tweet and found Hayward missing from the list.
Top 10 Free Agent Successes:— NFL (@NFL) November 24, 2016
FULL: https://t.co/bH3Dnrtskx (via @ChrisWesseling) pic.twitter.com/peGYeD3590
Hayward only as an honorable mention for free agent successes this year? I could MAYBE buy into this if there weren’t 2 Cornerbacks on the list. Janoris Jenkins at 5 and Josh Norman at 9.
I just don’t see an argument that EITHER of them be ahead of Hayward.
Turnovers at the CB position are a premium stat, and literally NO other corner in the league is beating Hayward in this regard. Casey Hayward has 7 interceptions this season. Janoris Jenkins? He has 2. Josh Norman? He has 1, but he also has 2 forced fumbles. So even if you combine Norman and Jenkins’ turn overs, Hayward still has 2 more.
I know what you’re saying “well Hayward is probably targeted more so of course he’d have more interceptions.” A fair argument...IF Hayward wasn’t also destroying both Norman and Hayward in passer rating allowed.
Josh Norman is only allowing a 78.8 passer rating in his direction, according to the same article from the tweet. Pretty impressive. Jenkins is even better, allowing only a “disgustingly low” 67.5 passer rating, good for 11th best in the NFL, prior to this week vs the Steelers according to this article from CBS Sports. Well if Jenkins’ 67.5 is “disgustingly low” Hayward’s is NSFW levels of offensiveness. According to Bleacher Report Casey Hayward is allowing only a 49.3 passer rating, 3rd best in the NFL.
What makes Hayward the most successful out of these 3 though is that when you consider how much Hayward is outperforming the other 2 in both categories above, then look at the price tag for all 3 this is no contest. Josh Norman received a 5 year, $75 million contract, or very steep $15 mil per year. Janoris Jenkins also got 5 years, but for $62 million, or a cool $12.4 per. Tom Telesco, the coupon god, somehow got Hayward on a 3 year, $15.3 million contract, or a super bargain of $5.1 million per year.
So lets review. Hayward has more turnovers by a ton. He’s allowing a much lower passer rating. He has more passes defended (17, while Jenkins has 15 and Norman has 12). And he was less than half the cost.
To me this is some serious east coast bias going on here. Hayward is easily a top 3 CB this year while the other 2 aren’t even top 10 in most or all categories. I feel like if Hayward was on the Eagles or Jets he’d be #1 on this top 10 list.