Hyde trying not to dwell on uncertain future

Lori Nickel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers strong safety Micah Hyde (33) celebrates his interception against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX Sunday, January 15, 2017.

GREEN BAY - Micah Hyde was feeling it — doubly so on a gloomy, foggy Monday in Green Bay.

First the sting of being just one victory short of advancing to the Super Bowl, again, just as it was at this time two years ago when Green Bay’s 2014 postseason run ended in Seattle.

And now there’s the unsettling reality that after four years of being a utility defensive back for the team that drafted him out of Iowa, and just being elected team playoff captain by his peers, Hyde has absolutely no indication that he is wanted back.

His rookie contract is up. He will be a free agent in March if he’s not re-signed by general manager Ted Thompson.

“Yeah, it's really ... weird,” Hyde said. “I've shown my frustration and whatever, as far as when to stay here, and be here. But nothing's happened on the back end. We'll see.”

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Hyde played in the disastrous NFC championship game Sunday in Atlanta until a shoulder injury prevented him from returning in the second half. It was a game that he said felt like a microcosm of Green Bay’s injury-riddled season.

“I came back out after halftime, I felt like every play that happened, somebody came up slow or the trainers were out there helping,” said Hyde. “That’s the unlucky part but that’s football. It’s a violent game. You’ve got to learn to deal with those injuries.

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“…I can’t even count on both of my hands how many different guys I played with in that back end (this season). It’s tough to get in a rhythm when a lot of guys are being hurt and you have young guys playing. But that’s not an excuse.”

Hyde simply marched on all year. In 16 games in the regular season, Hyde had 58 tackles — including an 11-tackle performance against Detroit — and 9 passes defensed with three interceptions, all three coming down the stretch in Weeks 14-17. He added an interception at Dallas and three passes defensed overall in the Packers' playoff run.

“I always take pride in making those big plays, especially late in the season, when we need them the most,” Hyde said as he and his teammates gathered up their things and packed away their locker room belongings. “But it’s a business, I understand that. We’ll see what happens.”

That left it to Hyde's teammates to sing his praises.

“He comes to work, he’s going to be on time, he’s very reliable and he’s going to do the job,” safety Morgan Burnett said. “I don’t even have to worry about turning around because I know Micah is going to be doing what he needs to do. He’s going to hold up his end of the bargain — so I need to return the favor and do the same thing.”

Added defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: “Get him back. He’s a great player, man. He’s available all of the time. He competes. He can play all positions. I’ve never seen him complain, quit, give up. His effort is unbelievable. Since I’ve been here, it’s a guy that I had to compete with in order to get this starting spot that I have now, and it’s still amazing to see him play each and every week.”

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So now, Hyde processes the loss and waits. He won’t stew over his future in Green Bay; he will let his agent handle that.

It’s going to be a long couple of months for Hyde, who has played in numerous playoff games but not in the Super Bowl. Just as it was two years ago, when the Packers blew a 16-0 halftime lead and lost to the Seahawks in the NFC championship game.

“It was tough to even watch the Super Bowl. Or watch the highlights of the season” after that loss, Hyde said. “This one will be tough. Until we get playing again next season, you’re going to have that empty feeling in your stomach.

“I love this place, this place is awesome. Greatest fans in the league. Winning organization. The rest is out of my control. I’ve tried to let it be known that I would love to stay here. If the other end doesn’t match up, there’s nothing I can do.”

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