The Green Bay Packers have announced that they will be releasing veteran cornerback Charles Woodson from their roster. The former defensive player of the year is slated to make over $6 million in 2013 with a possible $3 million in bonuses as well. Woodson is 36 years old and spent most of last season injured with a broken collarbone.
While Woodson is up there in age, he still has the skill set to be a difference maker on the Packers defense. He was moved over to safety this season, while also playing the slot in the Packers nickel and dime packages. Woodson managed just one interception and 1.5 sacks in seven games this season was a disappointment when he did get the chance to play; however, the entire Packers defense had a huge drop in turnovers compared to the last few seasons. As a defense, the Packers went from 31 interceptions in 2012 to just 18 this season.
At an advanced age for an NFL player, Woodson is basically and all or nothing type of player. He is still one of the best secondary players at rushing the quarterback and is still a good playmaker. Also, with the amount of young talent that the Packers have on defense, Woodson would provide continued leadership in the locker room and helped teach the secondary how to become better players.
The move is understandable for the Packers front office though. Woodson is coming off an injured season and General Manager Ted Thompson doesn’t want to take a hit on the salary cap for an aging player to give them more flexibility in signing young free agents like cornerback Sam Shields who looks like the future number one corner for Green Bay.
There is still a slim chance that the Packers will release and re-sign Woodson to a smaller contract, but Woodson will most likely get better offers from other teams around the league. Green Bay is open to the idea of re-signing Woodson to another deal, but are leaning towards their young talent such as M.D. Jennings and Casey Hayward.
Woodson had 37 interceptions in six seasons with the Packers and was a fan favorite. His release will most likely bring a mixed reaction among Packer Nation, as half of the fans will want to keep the veteran on an already struggling defense, while the other half would accept getting rid of Woodson for younger talent.
The Packers started this offseason $7 million under the salary cap for 2013, so obviously this will help the Packers attack the market better this offseason and help build another championship team.
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