Posted February 15, 2013

Charles Woodson to be released by Green Bay Packers after seven seasons

Green Bay Packers
Charles Woodson

Though still a capable pass defender, Charles Woodson’s contract was a luxury the Packers chose not to afford. (Damian Strohmeyer/SI)

Charles Woodson won a Super Bowl, a Defensive Player of the Year and was named to four Pro Bowl teams during his seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. His bulky contract and declining skills, though, made Friday’s news that the Packers were set to release Woodson come as little surprise. Woodson was due to make $6.5 million in base salary in 2013, with close to $3 million more available in bonuses. Those numbers proved too hefty for Green Bay to commit to a 37-year-old defensive back, who struggled to produce when he was on the field last season.

News of Green Bay’s decision actually broke first via the official Twitter account of Woodson’s winery, Twenty Four Wines, which tweeted: “Thank you Green Bay it was a great run!”

Woodson’s agent, Carl Poston, later confirmed to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport that the release was coming, adding, “It’s part of the business.” Also according to Rapaport, Poston said that his client does not plan to retire and would “like to go play for a contender, win another Super Bowl.”

That desire likely narrows down the list of teams Woodson would consider. But is there still a market for Woodson out there?

The Packers moved Woodson to safety for the 2012 season, a nod to both the team’s improved depth at cornerback (thanks mostly to rookie Casey Hayward) and Woodson’s diminishing coverage ability. He still managed to pick off a league-leading seven passes in 2011, but he was a bit of a boom-or-bust player.

Green Bay hoped moving Woodson to safety would allow him to utilize his ball-hawking abilities, alongside an occasional blitz. During seven regular-season games, however, he managed just one pick and 1.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus graded him out as the 37th-best safety in the league in 2012.

Woodson originally signed with Green Bay back in 2006, after eight up-and-down seasons in Oakland. Because of his success with the Packers, it’s possible that the two sides will try to reach a more financially sensible deal to keep Woodson around, but the safer bet is that Green Bay opts to go with a younger option like M.D. Jennings at strong safety.

Woodson, meanwhile, ought to find several interested teams, even this late in his career. The Patriots may be in the market for some veteran safety help; as could the 49ers, who suffered from dismal safety play during their Super Bowl loss to the Ravens. Atlanta also stands to lose its starting strong safety, William Moore, in free agency — Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota, the Jets, St. Louis are in a similar boat.

Of course, any team that signs Woodson would have the option to return him to his natural spot at cornerback. Woodson had 37 interceptions while playing that position for six seasons in Green Bay.

The Packers reportedly started the offseason about $7 million under 2013′s projected salary cap. Cutting Woodson obviously gives Green Bay even more wiggle room with which to hit the market.

Woodson now likely has one more stop in his NFL career. Where that stop may be is, for now, anyone’s guess.

14 comments
Chris B2
Chris B2

There are rumors that he is going to sign with the Hawks along with JEnnings. Watch out for it. 

 

 

www.hawktawk12.com

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

Meanwhile the Broncos cling to Chump Bailey and his $10 million cap hit - even after he got embarrassed for two touchdowns in their playoff loss to the Ravens.

 

 

 

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

I just think a great song by Pink Floyd is appropriate right about now......HA! Next up.....AJ Hawk.

Fcroft
Fcroft

Let's hope GB can resign Charles to a lesser contract.  If he retires, it will be as a Packer, which is what he deserves by getting a Super Bowl ring!

StephaneDubord1
StephaneDubord1

I wish him the best, but as a Packers fan, I hope he doesn't get any big offers, and then ends up returning to GB for a more reasonable amount later this summer.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Why do they even have contacts in the NFL? They are meaningless. That the union signed yet another CBA where contracts are such a joke shows that the owners are in complete control.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

Cutting a guy because he's not good enough is one thing. Cutting him to get playing time to MD Jennings who is terrible is different.

Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask
Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask

Charles you got your Super Bowl ring and numerous accolades. If there is no market for you, sign your one day contract and retire a Raider, you should have never left but Raider nation doesn't blame you.

Ryan9
Ryan9

This could be the first step in re-signing Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to new deals.

DanaBunner
DanaBunner

 @StephaneDubord1 As a Packers fan, the best thing would be for him to move on.  He's really lost a lot of skills and is even questionable as a NFL caliber backup at this point.

touseyd
touseyd

 @Rickapolis I gotta disagree with you there bro. The invention of free agency, salary cap, guranteed money and the ability to cut players and save money against the cap is one of the major reasons the NFL became #1 and is still far and away the best sport.

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

 @M as in Mancy they did cut him because he wasn't good enough. he wasn't good enough to make $6.5 mill base with $3.5 mill in incentives. big hit on your cap for an ineffective safety.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @touseyd  @Rickapolis

Hey as a fan, I love the fact that non-guaranteed contracts hold NFL players accountable more than any other sport and also allows a team to rapidly remake itself. How many 2-3 year worst to first turnarounds have we seen?

 

But if I was a player, I would hate it. Rickapolis is right. The NFLPA is a joke (like all the other player's associations) by not being able to negotiate a much better contract situation for its members.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @BryanCustard

 You said it yourself. Ineffective safety. Especially for his salary. But an ineffective Woodson is still better than an effective Jennings.