'AJ Terrell is one of my guys': Casey Hayward talks linking up with Terrell in Falcons secondary 

Have the Falcons had a cornerback pairing in recent years quite like this one? No. Probably not. 

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward (29) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

When thinking of the impact Casey Hayward's signing has on the Falcons secondary, think of this pairing with AJ Terrell as the prime candidates of any political campaign: Terrell/Hayward '22. That's kind of how Hayward views it, anyway.

The two Georgia natives will unite in the Falcons secondary in 2022. They have the same agent, so they know each other well and have for a couple years now. As teammates, the hope is that they could form something special. Really special.


Hayward said on Thursday in his introductory press conference that he actually watched a bit of Terrell's film last year when he was with the Raiders. Hayward went on to say that by seeing Terrell in Dean Pees' scheme last year, it made him feel as though it would be a system he fits well in, too.

And playing with Terrell as his running mate? That's something Hayward is very much on board with.

"I don't think I've ever had a running mate on the other side as talented as AJ," Hayward said.

Hayward has played with some pretty solid corners in his decade-long career in the league. In Green Bay, Hayward played with Sam Shields and Tramon Williams. When he was picked up by the Chargers, Hayward was competing with Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett, the latter Hayward called one of the most talented players he's ever been around. However, Verrett was injured throughout much of Hayward's time with the Chargers, and Los Angeles had to rely on a number of free agents to play opposite Hayward throughout those years.

"Pretty good guys, don't get me wrong," Hayward said of the corners he's played with in the past, "but not as talented as AJ."

The two make for a really exciting duo. Terrell is one of the most coveted young cornerback in the league. After a stellar second year, Terrell has essentially proven that he can shut down his side of the field.

There's something to be said about the immediate impact Hayward will make on the other side of the field, too. Though his interception numbers in recent years are not striking, his overall PFF defensive grades are. Outside of one down year in 2020, Hayward consistently grades out as one of the best outside cornerbacks in the league, particularly with his coverage grades.

With Hayward and Terrell together in the Falcons secondary? Get those campaign buttons ready. This could get interesting.


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