A Packer in Peril? Public Enemy No. 1 in Minnesota Could be Nearing a Trade

Syndication: USA TODAY
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ah, Jaire Alexander. The man isn’t too popular in Minnesota. Few are as gifted as the Packers corner. Few are as outspoken about their gifts as the Packers corner.

In fact, Alexander did a bit of talking before last season’s Vikings/Packers matchup in Week 17. He then proceeded to corral Justin Jefferson, holding the WR1 to one of the most modest games of his career: a single reception for just 15 yards. Mr. Alexander wasn’t shy about bragging about his accomplishments.

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander does the Griddy after breaking up a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

Fast forward a year and things aren’t going quite as well.

In the initial meeting with the Vikings, Alexander got roasted by Jordan Addison. Jefferson was still recovering from his hamstring ailment, so the rookie was the one who did all of the damage. And then when the teams met again later in the year, Green Bay — as a team — opted to suspend the corner. Apparently, he went to the captain’s meeting before the game without … actually being a captain. He even called the coin flip.

He did help his team get into the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but the exit to the 49ers may have been the final game for Alexander in Green Bay.

A Packer in Peril of Being Traded: Jaire Alexander

The update comes courtesy of Dov Kleiman, who shares a screenshot of the corner’s Instagram:

The post certainly reads like a farewell, doesn’t it? Of course, it doesn’t explicitly state that, but the broader context helps to push those words toward the thought.

Syndication: The Post-Crescent
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) during their football game Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Minnesota defeated Green Bay 24-10. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

A simple cut doesn’t make a ton of sense in Wisconsin. Keeping the corner means accepting a $23,981,647 cap charge; cutting the corner means a $27,456,000 cap charge. That’s right, a decision to simply move on would mean Green Bay is working with less money.

Now, it’s worth noting that a trade has the exact same financial ramifications. The major difference is that Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur could (in theory, at least) pickup a decent asset in return.

Jalen Ramsey is a better corner who is also making a pile of money; last offseason, he was picked up for just a 3rd. Crucially, he was a touch older, but that’s still an important data point.

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder (51) celebrates a play with cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) against the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jaire Alexander will turn 27 on February 9th, so he should have several years of strong play ahead of him. There are three years remaining on his deal, but there’s a good chance any acquiring team would look to adjust the deal as a way of alleviating the immediate cap burden while also keeping their new defender happy.

Oh, and in case the thought crossed your mind: the chance of Minnesota picking up the corner is indeed very small.

There’s a need, yes, but seeing the division rivals do business on a corner who is still in his prime and who has been a second-team All Pro twice would be surprising. Plus, the rivalry shrinks down to a personal level since Alexander and Jefferson have a bit of a feud, so the locker room dynamic could be odd.

The win for Minnesota may involve the mere fact of Green Bay losing an excellent defender, making every subsequent matchup easier to navigate for Kevin O’Connell’s offense.

In 2023, Jaire Alexander only played in 7 games. However, his 2022 season featured 16 games, leading to 56 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 14 passes defended.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.