Detroit Lions Free Agent Profile: Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions need playmakers on defense. A familiar foe who makes a living taking the ball away will be available in free agency.

This free agent class of safeties is loaded. From young to old, cheap to costly, there’s options. One name stands out and is especially familiar to the Detroit Lions. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

It isn’t the strangeness of his name that makes him well known to the Motown fan base. Clinton-Dix used to terrorize the entire NFC North division with the Green Bay Packers.

Over a 73 game stretch, the ball-hawking safety snagged 14 interceptions. That’s nearly an average of three per season. The last seven games of 2018 were spent with the Washington Redskins after getting traded midseason.

Being around the football isn’t just about picking off a pass. A good safety makes tackles too. Clinton-Dix is no stranger to contact, forcing four fumbles over his five seasons. On average, Ha Ha racks up 88.8 tackles a season. What makes this even more impressive is the fact he’s mostly a free safety.

At that position, the defensive back is far away from the line of scrimmage in the deeper part of the field. A strong safety typically plays closer, where there’s more opportunities to make tackles.

Fortunately, Clinton-Dix isn’t limited to one spot. Put him in the backend or in the box and he can succeed. Another area he can play in is in the slot. Not limited to just coverage duties, his ability to blitz stands out the most. 5.5 sacks in five full seasons.

What’s catch with Ha Ha? Regression. Although the stats are impressive, the work ethic diminished. Giving up too many big plays and taking too many risks lead to his exodus. Attitude matters; it’s questionable in his case.

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Still, adding a former top 100 player and Pro Bowler to the Detroit Lions in the defensive backfield would serve as a tremendous help. The cost to make this happen will cost a pretty penny but his value isn’t bank-breaking either. I’d estimate somewhere in the $9-10 million range.