Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the first round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers, just earned his well-deserved payday. The 21st overall draft pick from the University of Alabama penned his rookie contract on Thursday and will be due $8.33 million over the next four years. The All-American safety’s deal also included a $4.38 million signing bonus.
His name might be Ha Ha, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank. Clinton-Dix was one of the highest touted safeties in the 2014 draft; with the Packers’ need for a defensive makeover, using their first round pick on him was a no-brainer. The way he has performed in college, helping Alabama to a 36-4 record including two BCS National Championship games during his three collegiate seasons, in shouldn’t take long for Clinton-Dix to adjust to the NFL.
Clinton-Dix is currently the 13th first rounder to sign his rookie contract. Like the rest of his NFL rookie colleagues, he is under a four-year deal with the Packers. Green Bay also placed a fifth-year option on Ha Ha that must be used before the start of his fourth NFL season.
Whether or not the addition of Clinton-Dix makes Green Bay a Super Bowl contender is debatable, but he does improve the Packers secondary almost instantly. Green Bay’s defense ranked 24th overall in just about every defensive category last season, but ranked in the top ten for all offensive team stats. In 2014, the Packers need to provide some cushion for Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the offense; hence the reason they drafted Ha Ha.
Although he’s considered a bit undersized for a player of his position, Clinton-Dix is an excellent tackler and can read and react quickly against passes heading his way, making him a double threat to the air and the run attack. It seems as if the Packers are not at all concerned about Ha Ha’s meniscus tear, needed surgery to repair in December.
It’s widely expected that Clinton-Dix will be an instant starter in Green Bay, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll be an NFL star in no time.