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Ha Ha Clinton-Dix thinks Packers stint will end in '18

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Ha Ha Clinton-Dix believes his days could be numbered in Green Bay, and he might have learned a lesson from Earl Thomas along the way.

The safety said as much -- sort of -- on Monday, less than 24 hours after the Packers slid back to .500 by way of an ugly loss to Detroit.

"Right now, I'm playing each and every game like it's my last. I don't think I'm going to be here next year," Clinton-Dix said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. "That's how I look at it. I just [have to] be honest with myself. You've got to play it game-by-game. Whether we're losing by 60 points, you've got to go out there and perform. This is my biggest interview of my career. So I've got to perform, regardless of what the record says."

Admittedly, this could be a quote standing out from the copy a little too much. Clinton-Dix sounds more focused on trying to give the most effort possible in everything he does, relying on the common motivational phrase "treat every play (or game) like it's your last."

But there's also good reason to take this seriously. Clinton-Dix is playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which the Packers picked up after the safety made the Pro Bowl in 2016. He didn't get the long-term deal he was hoping for this offseason, as the Packers experienced rare front office changes. And there's still an undecided jury on his value to a revamped Packers secondary, featuring a collection of high-round draft selections and veterans who are in the last or second-to-last years of their contracts.

On paper, it would make plenty of sense to retain Clinton-Dix. The safety appears to be on pace to replicate his 2016 second-team All-Pro campaign, logging 20 tackles, one sack, three passes defensed and three interceptions in just five games.

But the window to secure a new deal before free agency is closing, and with Thomas likely losing out on future money (thanks to playing out the last year of his deal and suffering a season-ending injury), it makes sense for Clinton-Dix to think like this. From a player perspective, one must capitalize on his value while it is at its peak. Plus, constantly feeling as if you're on the edge of termination can be a surprisingly effective motivator, even if it's largely an imaginative creation.

Green Bay won't be strapped for cash in 2019, though, with a projected $47 million in salary-cap space to be available, per Over The Cap. The Packers could clear another $4.75 million if they decided to move on from veteran Tramon Williams, too. Simply, there's money to spend on the secondary, if they choose to do so.

Will that involve Clinton-Dix? The safety said he's enjoying playing in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's defense -- "He's given me a chance to fly around and make plays," Clinton-Dix said -- so there's a solid chance. But as we all know, money talks.

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