It appears that no matter how great an asset a player is to a team, he can always be considered expendable. Earlier today, the Green Bay Packers released 15-year veteran safety Charles Woodson.
The 2009 Defensive Player of the Year missed the last nine games of the 2012 regular season with a broken collarbone. Along with his age and recent injury, the Packers felt that releasing the eight-time Pro Bowler would benefit them financially.
Woodson was due to get $9 million in 2013, which was going to count against Green Bay’s salary cap. The Packers could afford to depart with Woodson because of the youth and depth that they have in their defensive backfield.
The seven-time All-Pro mentioned that he still wants to play next season, and that he would like to play for a Super Bowl contender. Despite injuring his collarbone this past season, and being 36-years old, I believe that Woodson would be a great addition to any team’s defense, and could possibly be the missing piece to a Super Bowl contending team.
After saying that, I think that there are a few playoff teams that should at least consider signing Woodson. The defense of the Atlanta Falcons could use more veteran leadership. The second-ranked defense of the Denver Broncos could be even better with Woodson helping in the secondary, and assisting in blitz packages.
Even though the New Orleans Saints didn’t make the postseason, Woodson could be a vital part of their team as well, especially with the addition of Rob Ryan as the Saint’s new defensive coordinator.
However, if I had to pick one team that would be a great fit for Woodson, it would be the New England Patriots. First of all, they are always a Super Bowl contending team. Second of all, the Patriots were one game away from the Super Bowl this past season. Finally, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is notorious for going after savvy veterans to make his team better.
There has been speculation that Belichick was considering going after Ed Reed, another veteran safety who’s a free agent. If for some reason Reed decides to re-sign with the Baltimore Ravens, or sign elsewhere, Woodson could possibly find a home in New England. This would probably be his best chance of winning another championship before retiring.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google