Packers Set To Release Charles Woodson
By Danny Webster
It appears that Charles Woodson's days with the Green Bay Packers have come to a surprising end.
After missing nine games last season with a broken collarbone, ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that the Packers will cut ties with the 36-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year, after spending the last six years in Green Bay.
Woodson was set to make around $9 million this upcoming season and it would've hit Green Bay's salary cap by $10 million. He moved to safety this past season after struggling to play man-to-man defense during the 2011-12 season.
With the former Heisman Trophy winner moving to safety, it opened the door for Green Bay's core of young defensive backs to step up and play extremely well. Tramon Williams stepped into the role as the No. 1 corner last year and had 16 pass deflections, and rookie Casey Hayward led the Packers with six interceptions on the season.
According to Woodson's agent Carl Poston, he said that Woodson has a lot of football left in him and that he would like to sign with a Super Bowl contender this upcoming season.
Woodson now joins a quality list of free agent safeties that will be looking for a good payday and a new home. Ed Reed, Dashon Goldson and Jairus Byrd are among those who are set to earn close to $10 million a year from teams who are in desperate need of safeties.
There's no debate that Woodson can still compete at a high level, but the question is how much do you pay him compared to those other available safeties?
He did miss more than half the season last year, so teams will be careful to pay him the money that he would expect. But when he's on the field, Woodson is still considered one of the best ball-hawking defensive players in the game.
One team that will definitely be in play for a safety and could be very well interested in Woodson will be the Dallas Cowboys. With Barry Church having sat out all of last season with an injury, the Cowboys struggled in the deep passing attack from most teams in the league.
The Packers could go many different directions as they head to the NFL Draft. Both the offensive line and defense are strong needs that Green Bay will need to address. If available at No. 26, many believe that Barrett Jones from Alabama will be taken to solidify the interior of the offensive line.
A lot of scouts are also high on Kenny Vaccaro, the projected top safety in this year's class from Texas, and if the Packers are willing to deal, they could be a team that could move up and go after him in the mid-to-late first round.