It is a part of the game, but any time a future Hall of Famer is cut it comes as a surprise to everyone. On Friday morning the Green Bay Packers released S Charles Woodson.
Charles Woodson spent 7 seasons in Green Bay, winning his first Super Bowl in 2010 and AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. Woodson started at CB for the Packers until this season when they moved him to S this season as his coverage skills started to decline. While Woodson’s last season in Green Bay was marked mostly by a broken collarbone that cost him much of the regular season, it is what Woodson did throughout his career that stands out.
Woodson was a playmaker in the Packers secondary, someone who could deliver a big hit to force a fumble or he could pick off a pass and return it 60 yards for a score. Woodson lived to make plays, he had 9 defensive TD’s throughout his 7-year stint in Green Bay with 38 interceptions. What really made Woodson special was the leadership and knowledge he brought to the game. Woodson helped tutor his young teammates like Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward. He taught them about some of the techniques in coverage and little things they can do to become better players. Woodson also taught everyone about how important being in the film room is, while he always had the skills of an All-Pro CB it was all the time spent in the film room that made him a future Hall of Famer. It seems crazy to look back after the Oakland Raiders cut Charles Wodson back in 2005. A loud, arrogant corner who grudgingly went to the small city of Green Bay, but wasn’t happy to be there. Now after 7 seasons of playing in Lambeau, it will be hard for him to leave, but it is the nature of the game.
The move is part of the game, and was necessary given the Packers cap situation. Aaron Rodgers will soon need an extension and when he does it will set the record for biggest contract in NFL history. Green Bay also has to sign OLB Clay Matthews and NT B.J Raji to long-term extensions in the near future. Woodson’s release will clear up nearly $10 million in cap space, leaving Green Bay roughly $17 million under the cap. Green Bay should find a replacement in the draft possibly in Florida International S Jonathan Cyprien or LSU S Eric Reid, but Woodson’s leadership capabilities can’t be replaced.
Woodson will now enter free agency with a plan in mind as his agent Carl Poston told Ian Rapoport ”He’d like to go play for a contender, win another Super Bowl. He caught that bug.” If he only wants to play for a contender he may be an option for the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers or possibly the Cincinnati Bengals.
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