Kevin King did not have a good postseason, to say the least. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers absolutely embarrassed him on national TV for a full 60 minutes. For as bad as he played however, he was the Packers’ No. 2 cornerback. The Green Bay Packers cap space is limited as it is, and many fans seem willing to let King walk.
Do the Packers feel confident enough in the depth behind him and options in the draft? As Kevin King hits free agency, is there any chance that he returns to Green Bay?
Packers Free Agency: Kevin King
Kevin King Injuries
One of the biggest problems with King is his inability to stay healthy. This guy truly has the durability of a wet piece of paper. Through just four seasons, King has missed a combined 23 games. He has missed more than a full third of games, and it’s hard to justify someone with such an injury history. Yes, nothing has been season-ending, but with a very tight cap, you need someone you know will be able to be on the field consistently. In addition, while it is certainly not the only contributing factor, it’s hard to see much improvement in a player that is on the field less than 70% of the time.
Kevin King Stats
This past season, King had zero interceptions and only five passes defended. After giving up completion percentages close to 60% each of his first three seasons, in 2020 King yielded a completion percentage of 70.3%. Opponents posted a 115.0 passer rating when targeting him. For reference, in the 2020 season, only the Packers posted a passer rating higher than 115.0 out of the entire NFL. Quite literally opponents are as effective against King as the Packers’ historic offense was overall this season.
Unfortunately for the Packers, King didn’t just underachieve in coverage. Kevin King has posted a missed tackle percentage of 17.5% each of the last two seasons. Missing tackles are bad enough, but missing them at that clip, when often you’re one of the few guys between the ball carrier and the end zone, is flat out inexcusable. Statistically, King is not a No. 2 cornerback type of talent by any means.
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With King not being anywhere near a talent capable of being second in the pecking order for a team’s cornerbacks, plenty of questions remain about his future in Green Bay. The most important being what role would be asked of him if he did return? It would be borderline insane to still have him as your No. 2 cornerback. So, if he were to come back in a lesser role, why would he be worth anything more than you could get in the draft? Even if he does offer to come back for less money, is it even worth it? You can’t get many players for cheap, but is somebody like him worth bringing back even though he would be cheap?
The NFL Draft is a wonderful thing for teams struggling with salary cap issues. The Packers, if they go about it right, can help themselves out a ton in the draft. They should be able to fill holes in the offensive line and the secondary with their selections. All of this adds up to King not really having a place with the team. Just because other backups may be ineffective too, doesn’t mean the Packers are going to look past the massive flaws he exposed in the postseason. Even without much extra money, the Packers likely will be making a huge defensive overhaul.
Kevin King Free Agency Prediction
Goodbye Kevin King. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. You do have to feel a bit for him, as he was destined to fail from the beginning. The Packers had the perfect opportunity to take local product T.J. Watt and instead decided to trade down and select King. It didn’t get much easier for him, as Watt has now turned himself into arguably the best linebacker and defensive player in the entire league. At the same time, King had more than enough chances. The defensive scheme was never great, but that didn’t stop Jaire from evolving into the best cornerback in the league.
Even with the likely ability to bring him back for cheap, what’s the point? Green Bay certainly wouldn’t use him as a top two or even three option at corner. After that, most are just a glorified bench warmer anyways. While the draft doesn’t provide any guarantees, it can’t possibly provide an option for the Packers worse than Kevin King.