Packers trade scapegoat, star safety on strange deadline

The Packers are going to look differently on the other side of the trade deadline.

On the defensive side of the ball, star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is going to the Redskins for a fourth-round pick, ESPN reported, an unceremonious end to his four and a half year tenure in Green Bay.

The 2014 first-round pick and 2016 Pro Bowler has come up with 14 career interceptions, including three this year, but he’s set to hit free agency after the season and the Packers had to decide whether to lose him now or later.

“I’ve got about 24 hours and then we can talk,” Clinton-Dix told reporters Monday. “I don’t know. You guys might be surprised.”

Less surprising is Ty Montgomery’s exit. His fumble didn’t just cost the Packers a game, it apparently led to his departure from Green Bay, too.

The Packers running back was dealt to the Ravens for a 2020 seventh-round pick less than an hour before Tuesday’s trade deadline, ESPN reported, just two days after he coughed up the ball on a kickoff return against the Rams in the final minutes.

The former Stanford star opted to take a kickoff out of the end zone with the Packers down two points on Sunday instead of taking a knee, depriving Aaron Rodgers a chance to lead a game-winning drive in a 29-27 loss in Los Angeles. NFL Network reported several Packers players — including Rodgers — and coaches were furious with Montgomery. One even said Montgomery was told to take a knee if the ball reached the end zone, but he was upset over being taken out for a play on the previous drive.

“Aaron was hot,” an anonymous Packers coach said. “And he had a right to be. He yelled, ‘Take a f–king knee!’ He was very, very mad.”

On Monday, Montgomery addressed the issue with reporters and caused even more drama. He denied he was told to take a knee — even though Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that was the plan following the game — and was furious with the reported criticism.

“We talk about being brothers,” he said. “We talk about being family and keeping things in-house, in-house, this, that and the other. That’s not what happened. I don’t know. Maybe that’s what they do in their family. That’s not what I do in mine.

“No one ever said anything to me. No one ever came to me. So I’m thoroughly disappointed in the speculation and just the backlash I have to deal with now. Because now, we’re talking about my character. We’re not even talking about the fumble anymore, we’re talking about my character. We’re talking about the reasons why I did what I did, and I’m not OK with that.”

Montgomery won’t have to worry about the issue anymore.

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