GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jaire Alexander has always approached things a little differently, and that now includes walking away from $700,000 he could have collected for participating in the Green Bay Packers‘ offseason program.
That wasn’t enough to entice the reigning second-team All-Pro cornerback to attend anything other than this week’s mandatory minicamp.
How much would it have taken to get Alexander to come?
“Man, to come to [the whole] offseason?” he said. “I’d probably say about, I would’ve definitely been here for 10.”
“Yeah,” he confirmed.
Don’t mistake that as indifference.
He actually stayed in Green Bay after the season when many players departed for warmer weather or their hometowns. Then in early April, shortly before the official offseason program began on the 17th of that month, he left town.
Now that he’s back for the mandatory minicamp, he said he’ll stay for part of the summer after everyone leaves for their pre-training camp break.
“This is probably the best time to be here,” Alexander said. “When it’s quiet.”
“I like to be here because I feel like I get the work,” he added. “When no one’s here and it’s quiet, I can go in Lambeau all day … It’s so quiet. You have no choice but to find peace, especially inside the building. Lambeau’s open all day, go out there and meditate, run some stadiums, that’s all.”
It wasn’t like he unplugged while he was gone. He said he watched film of OTA practices on his team-issued iPad.
If Alexander’s decision to stay away had anything to do with the departure of popular secondary coach Jerry Gray, who left for a promotion with the Atlanta Falcons, he would not say — other than to admit he “shed a tear, actually” when Gray departed.
Alexander would have had to attend 84.37% of the offseason program — essentially all but five days — in order to collect the bonus. It was part of the four-year, $84 million contract Alexander signed last May. It did not have a workout bonus for 2022, but he made more than $31 million in salary and signing bonus last season. This season, he was scheduled to make $14 million, but it will now be $700,000 less.
It was tied for the largest offseason workout bonus on the team with tackle David Bakhtiari, who has been a regular attendee.
The Packers offseason program starts today. Here are their 16 players who can gain financially from taking part. At least one of them won’t be. pic.twitter.com/fATVBiS3q3
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) April 17, 2023
Fellow Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas also skipped the majority of the offseason program and won’t collect a $300,000 workout bonus. Douglas was back at minicamp but did not stop to speak with reporters.
Tuesday’s practice was little more than a jog-through with no full-speed 11-on-11 team periods, but Alexander and Douglas were back with the No. 1 defense, paired with Keisean Nixon as the No. 3/slot cornerback.
“We’ll get a feel for them, and just watching them throughout the individual periods, and kind of see where they’re at, and talk to them and see how they feel,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “But the last thing I want to do is put them in a situation because we don’t know, the assumption is that they’re in great shape and they’re ready to go.”
Despite a disappointing performance by the Packers’ defense last season and questions about whether Joe Barry would return as the coordinator, Alexander was named to the All-Pro second team for the second time in the past three seasons.
“I know what works for me at this point,” Alexander said. “I’m on Year 6, so two Pro Bowls, two All-Pros. I mean, I think I know what I got going on here.”
Why $700K wasn’t enough to get Jaire Alexander to Packers’ OTAs – ESPN – Green Bay Packers Blog