GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have re-signed Will Redmond, The defensive back strongly suggested via his Instagram on Friday and the team made it official later in the day.
"Run it back," said one photo. Another, taken outside Lambeau Field, said, "Year 6."
For the second consecutive season, the versatile Redmond played in 13 games. In 2020, he played 340 snaps and contributed 24 tackles, two quarterback hits and one pass defensed while starting one game. Plus, he logged 238 snaps on special teams and chipped in four tackles. He started four games in 2019, when he had 36 tackles and one pass defensed in 271 defensive snaps but fell out of favor down the stretch.
“Ultimate pro and he's a great example for our young guys,” former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said after Redmond made his lone start against Houston. “He takes his job very seriously. He’s very serious about his preparation. He asks a ton of questions, he makes sure he's taking the mental reps when he's not in there. And we put a lot on Will. He's that guy, that utility defensive back. He can play nickel, he can play dime, he can play safety, we can put him outside at corner if we had to. You need guys like that who can go out and function with limited reps. It wasn't a surprise to us [that he played well against Houston] because we know how passionate Will is about the game and we know how well he prepares. We have a guy that we know is battle-tested and can step in.”
Redmond was a third-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. He didn’t play as a rookie as he battled back from a torn ACL suffered during his senior season at Mississippi State. The 49ers released him halfway through the 2017 season, and he finished that year on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad. Redmond failed to make the Chiefs’ roster in 2018, and the Packers grabbed him for their practice squad. He made his NFL debut at Seattle in Week 11 of that season.
Drafted as a cornerback, his snaps in 2020 were closely split between linebacker, slot and safety.
While his versatility is an asset, he will be remembered by two things in 2020. First, he’s a terrible tackler. After missing seven tackles for a missed-tackle rate of 17.5 percent in 2019, he missed nine in 2020, according to Sports Info Solutions. His missed-tackle rate of 23.7 percent was the third-worst among all defensive backs, according to SIS. Second is the dropped interception just before halftime of the NFC Championship Game. Had Redmond made the play, Tom Brady wouldn’t have thrown a touchdown pass just before halftime and the Packers might have been playing in the Super Bowl.