The Green Bay Packers decided in the offseason that they didn't need Micah Hyde. The four-year veteran ended up in Buffalo with an unproven coach and an unproven secondary.
But Hyde said Wednesday that after initial conversations with rookie coach Sean McDermott, he could see the team's defense coming together, even before they drafted stud rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White. Hyde and agent Jack Bechta capitalized on that belief by negotiating a large bonus for making the Pro Bowl, which Hyde cashed in on Tuesday when the all-star teams were announced.
Hyde confirmed he has a $400,000 bonus in his contract for being named to the Pro Bowl, which was initially noted in March by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. ESPN's Field Yates added that it is one of the larger Pro Bowl bonuses in the league. Some players reportedly earned as much as half a million dollars for being selected.
Hyde said he was unaware of where his bonus ranked among others in the league but wasn't surprised at the way the Bills' defensive backfield has come together.
"Believing in Sean," Hyde said of why he chose the Bills. "Having that first couple conversations with him and understanding what he believes in and seeing the defenses that he was able to create in the past, I think I'd be lying if I didn't see that we were going to be a pretty good secondary, even without the guys we have in the locker room yet.
"I know the type of player (fellow safety) Jordan Poyer was coming in, he was kind of getting overlooked. He was a guy in Cleveland who kind of played that same role I did – just throw him and and see what he can do, kind of that second-hand player – but we were able to come together. We had a conversation when we first got here and said, 'look, this is our opportunity, we've both been overlooked, let's just go out there and see what we can do.' "
Hyde thanked his agent for believing him him enough to negotiate the bonus.
"I was playing well at the end of the season," Hyde said. "It was one of those situations where Green Bay let me walk, nobody really wanted me. Buffalo was there to have my back. And from there, [Bechta] just believed in what I could do and was able to get that negotiated.
"Throughout the whole process, he was asking me about numbers and all that stuff. He's looking out for my best interests and I just want an opportunity. Wherever it is, I just want an opportunity. Fortunately enough, it was Buffalo, and he was able to negotiate that. Like I said, just believing in each other. He believed in me, and we're at the point we are now."
Bills running back LeSean McCoy and left guard Richie Incognito were also named to the Pro Bowl. Center Eric Wood, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, tight end Charles Clay and fullback Mike Tolbert were named alternates. The Pro Bowl takes place on Jan. 29, the Sunday before the Super Bowl.