The Minnesota Vikings created a hole in their secondary by releasing cornerback Antoine Winfield in March, but they did help bolster their depth at the position by using one of their first-round picks on Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes. Chris Cook, who has had an up-and-down career to this point, is in line to start opposite Rhodes and 2012 third-round pick Josh Robinson figures to get significant playing time in 2013.
With the caliber of quarterbacks and wide receivers elsewhere in the NFC North, the Vikings simply can’t have too many capable players in their secondary. So could they still be in the market to add a veteran to the mix?
Charles Woodson was released by the Green Bay Packers in February, after playing just seven regular season games in 2012 due to a fractured collarbone. He was also slated to make $10 million in 2013 and will turn 37 in October, so Green Bay’s move to release him before free agency started was not a big surprise.
A few teams were rumored to have interest in Woodson soon after his release, but his only visit has been with the San Francisco 49ers and he remains unsigned. That lack of a significant market for his services has prompted Woodson to soften his stance on only wanting to play for a contender, as he told NFL Network on Thursday he is willing to join a team that is in rebuilding mode. The Vikings don’t fit the profile of a rebuilding team after last season’s 10-6 record and surprising playoff berth, but they are definitely not the type of contending team Woodson originally had his sights set on playing for either.
Woodson made the transition to playing predominantly safety last season, and he is clearly not the top-tier cover man he once was. But he could fit as a slot corner and multi-purpose piece for Minnesota, while offering a veteran presence and a nose for the ball similar to what Winfield brought to the table.
Woodson’s advanced age automatically makes him a poor fit for Vikings’ general manager Rick Spielman’s desire to continually add young players to the roster. Then there is of course the issue of Woodson’s asking price, which could be a big reason why he has not found a new home yet. Overall the Vikings and Woodson don’t look like a good marriage, so I think it’s a virtual certainty he lands elsewhere if he wants to play in 2013.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.