They’re both future Hall of Fame safeties, they both have Super Bowl rings and they’re on the open market. Charles Woodson and Ed Reed are each looking for new homes after Reed’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens expired and Woodson became a salary cap casualty for the Green Bay Packers. The New England Patriots were heavy favorites to sign Reed since he stated he’d like to play for them before the Super Bowl, but now that Woodson is on the market, Reed might not be such a lock to play in Foxborough this year.
Woodson is two years older than Reed, but he’ll also likely draw a lower price tag. The Patriots have just under $12 million to spend this offseason and Reed would take up a vast majority, if not all of that while Woodson would likely only require approximately half.
Of course, the Patriots have always been a thrifty team, bringing in former superstars like Chad Johnson and Albert Haynesworth for bargain prices. Granted, neither of those two examples panned out, but you get the idea that Reed could theoretically take less money to play there if he really wants to be in New England and the Patriots stick to their guns as far as the salary cap is concerned.
Regardless, the fact Woodson is now available definitely gives the Patriots leverage as far as which star safety they want to sign. Bringing in either one would instantly make New England’s porous pass defense much better, so you can bet that either Woodson or Reed will be wearing a Patriots uniform this fall.