Earlier today, the front office of the Green Bay Packers informed 36 year old defensive back Charles Woodson, that they will release him. His first season in Green Bay (2006), Woodson lead the conference with 8 interceptions, passing his career high from his rookie season of 5 interceptions back in 1998 with the Oakland Raiders.
Woodson’s Agent spoke out on his clients release saying, “The Packers told Charles they’re going in a different direction. Charles told me he still wants to play – for a Super Bowl contender.” – via AP.
With the release of Charles Woodson, the Green Bay Packers will clear up around $10 million in cap space. Woodson being the only player in NFL history with touchdowns off interceptions in 6 straight seasons (2006-2011) and leads the entire league with 9 touchdowns off interceptions since he first joined the Green Bay Packers in 2006.
In his 7 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, he has become a pro bowler 4 times, AP NFL Defensive Player and NFC Defensive player of the year (both in 2009), a Super Bowl champion and was named All-Pro 4 times. He has battled injuries, one where he broke his collarbone in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Last season he re-broke the same collar bone in a 30-20 win over the St. Louis Rams where he was forced to miss 6 weeks.
A.J. Hawk on Charles Woodson:
“Charles has been a stud in this league for 15 years, so when he’s on the field with us, he’s always a huge threat. Not only is he a threat to make huge plays throughout the game, but quarterbacks, I think they know where he’s at every single play. He seems to know what receivers are running before they do. And I think he has an intimidation factor as well.” – via ESPN.com
Now being on the market, it is pretty clear that teams will be blowing up both Woodson and his agent’s cellphones come March 12th. A total of 589 tackles, 17.0 sacks, 55 interceptions, 24 forced fumbles and 11 touchdowns in his career, 435 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 29 interceptions, 9 touchdowns and 15 forced fumbles were recorded while he was with Green Bay. With Woodson on the market and cap space available, Green Bay could work on potential long term contracts with James Jones, Clay Matthews or B.J. Raji to keep them in a Packers uniform. Woodson has clearly shown to be one of the best players on Green Bay’s defense when he was healthy, the ability to blitz the quarterback or stop a running back before they hit the line, his speed shows he could possibly handle a few more years in the league. His only problem is can he stay healthy and play all 16 games in a season for whatever team brings him in. That collarbone could still be a problem, but I don’t think he will have trouble finding a new home as soon as free agency begins.