The Green Bay Packers had a purge of veteran players this offseason, both through release and loss to other teams in free agency. While some holes are easily plugged, and some players can be replaced by the next in line, there are certain players who would be difficult to replace under any circumstances.
Safety Charles Woodson is one of those players.
After 15 NFL seasons, you’d think Woodson would be prepared for the inevitable, but he wanted to play on, and was released by the Packers on Feb. 13. Currently no teams have signed Woodson.
Woodson is one of those special players who not only brings some pretty good statistics to the table, but a ton of intangibles as well. He just knows where that ball is going to be at times, and he seems to have a knack for making the huge play when his team needs it the most. He’s an emotional catalyst for everyone on the defense, and that’s where the Packers will miss him the most.
Always the team player, Woodson missed several weeks with a broken collarbone in 2012, but came back for the team’s first playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. It’s that kind of grittiness that a tough-as-nails team like the Packers has to have in the secondary.
The problem for the Packers this year is there is not an over-abundance of good safeties available in free agency, and the NFL draft–while loaded with cornerbacks–isn’t quite as filled with choice selections at safety, at least not where the Packers are picking and with some of the other glaring needs they have.
It could be a long season in the Packers’ secondary if a suitable replacement for Woodson isn’t found.