On October 31, the Washington Redskins sent a 2019 fourth-rounder to the Green Bay Packers for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The FPC Redskins staff weigh in with their thoughts on the trade. Clinton-Dix, 25, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
It’s not every day that you can add a second-team All-Pro to your defense. Let alone one that is still in his prime at the age of 25. On the surface, I love this signing. The Redskins have had lacked ample depth, and frankly speaking, high-end talent, at the safety position for years. Clinton-Dix now brings credibility to the back end of our defense.
Pairing him up with standout DJ Swearinger now puts the top two rated safeties (according to Pro Football Focus) of 2018 side-by-side. Which should up the ‘Skins playmaking abilities. However, I do question the fit.
Clinton-Dix is slated as a free safety, but lacks the high end speed (4.58 40-yard dash) of Montae Nicholson. And Clinton-Dix also thrives at playing inside the box. Hence his high tackle total and sacks. The Skins already have a player like that, and he wears number thirty-six.
I’m curious how this new pairing of Ha-Ha and DJ will coexist. Nicholson had the recovery speed to mask Swearinger’s deficiencies in deep coverage and allowed DJ to roam. And as a result, Swearinger has played exceptional this season.
Saying that, it’s still a great move at a reasonable price. I predict that our run defense will be strengthened even more with the addition of Dix. And Swearinger seems to SEARCH for reasons to have a chip on his shoulder. Intrinsically the addition of Dix will motivate DJ to make him a better player. Swearinger is going insist to be the alpha male of the group (as he should).
In regard to Nicholson, it’s not as if he is going anywhere. Hopefully Manusky is creative enough to incorporate all of his safeties at once and place them in favorable positions. Could you imagine a cover-3 formation with Swearinger, Clinton-Dix, and Nicholson at the Deep Middle? Pretty tough. Overall, A+ move by the organization. Worth the risk.
I feel good about the Clinton-Dix trade. His PFF numbers are a bit misleading; he’s not in the top tier of safeties, and he isn’t the best athlete. But Clinton-Dix is an established starter, and his presence on the back end should mesh well with D.J. Swearinger’s, and with the Redskins defensive front, Clinton-Dix’s talents should be maximized.
I just hope this doesn’t limit Montae Nicholson’s snaps too much; Nicholson is still a starting-caliber safety, just one who particularly excels as a deep cover man. With three safeties who can contribute extensively, the Redskins have depth, versatility, and a vast array of talents on the back end. And all it took was a fourth-round pick. I like this trade.
The more I think about the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trade, the more I love it. You get a Pro Bowl caliber Safety for a 4th round pick that you will most likely recoup in a compensatory pick between the 3rd and 5th round in the 2020 draft if the Redskins cannot resign him. Clinton-Dix adds depth in the secondary on a team that can use as many weapons as possible in an arms race with the Eagles and Cowboys who just add two high caliber receivers.
The Redskins will also need the defensive back depth when they play pass heavy offenses like the Falcons, Texans, and Buccaneers. This will also position themselves for the playoffs should they play the Vikings, Rams, or Saints. There is nowhere in stone saying that Greg Manusky cannot have Montae Nicholson, Ha Ha, and D.J. Swearinger on the field at the same time. It might even be the case that they share a 50% snap count together with the spread offense and athleticism some of the upcoming opponents have. All around, a low risk, low expense, extremely high reward move.
I think the acquisition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix shows that the Redskins are going all-in on this season. Instead of having a fire sale of players like some teams, Washington added a piece that can help the depth of the defense and also patch a rough spot in the lineup. I believe Washington is forming its own “Legion of Boom” and I expect it to be the foundation for the team for years to come.
There’s a culture change going on in D.C. and it’s good for the team. Players want to run their opponent into the ground and it has translated into wins. The new style of run the ball down the defenses’ throat on offense combined with the nastiness of the defense is an old, but true method of being successful in the league. Expect big things from Washington this season and seasons to come.
Personally, this was a great move by the Redskins. While the Eagles and Cowboys went after a receiver the Redskins countered that with going after a top-notch safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Obviously it unknown what kind of player Clinton-Dix will be in the Burgundy and Gold, but, if he has a good campaign for the remainder of the season, the 25-year old who is a unrestricted free agent could be signing an extension with the Redskins. Overall, a great, low-risk trade that should have some impact for the rest of the season.