After a remarkable seven-year stint with the Green Bay Packers, Charles Woodson will look to play elsewhere this upcoming season as he was released this past weekend.
The 36-year-old has had a phenomenal 15-year career in the NFL, as he’s won one Super Bowl, been to eight Pro Bowls, named All Pro seven times while being named the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
There’s no question that Woodson will make a solid case for Canton when it’s all said and done, but there still is something left in Woodson’s tank.
At this point of Woodson’s career, you have to assume that he’ll be looking to win rather than landing a massive contract—not that he would anyways.
We have seen players time and time again part ways with their long-tenured team and then go out and join a Super Bowl contender—many of those times, that Super Bowl contender happened to be the New England Patriots.
Could this be yet another one of those times?
A match made in heaven with one of those players? Perhaps. I’m sure Tom Brady would love to have Woodson, his former Michigan teammate, in the fold. And the further the last Super Bowl title gets in the distance, the more likely it is that the Patriots go for broke with an acquisition they wouldn’t normally make.
Woodson? Just for his brain, experience, and instincts, I would expect Bill Belichick to at least check in on Woodson. Simply having an experienced player like that in the defensive backs room is valuable in its own right.
To continue on with Bedard’s notion that Bill Belichick would likely be on-board in bringing on Woodson—if the price is right—I couldn’t agree more.
Year after year, we sit here evaluating New England’s biggest needs entering the offseason. We ask ourselves: What is the missing piece that could re-throne the Patriots as the NFL’s finest?
We all know that New England’s defense, more specifically the secondary, has been the team’s weakest point as of late and adding a guy like Woodson wouldn’t hurt at all.
This past season, we actually saw an improvement to New England’s secondary, granted the unit was ranked 29th in the NFL—but we saw some bright spots out of this rather young and inexperienced group.
Devin McCourty flourished at safety, Alfonzo Dennard was promising at cornerback, Kyle Arrington proved to be a reliable slot-corner and we saw Aqib Talib transform this secondary—and Talib happens to be a free agent, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Assuming that Belichick and the Patriots decide to bring back the core of the team’s defense next season, adding Woodson into the mix would bring in some much needed leadership to this young, yet talented, defensive unit.
We can sit here all we want and state that Woodson would be a great idea and all of that—but is he worth the money? Would he bring value to the table? Would the value out-weigh the money?
At this point in time, New England has $16 million in salary cap room available which isn’t a lot at all.
The Patriots have several free agents that they’ll have to address, such as Wes Welker, Aqib Talib, Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Woodhead and Julian Edelman, just to name a few.
So assuming that Woodson and the Patriots do share a mutual interest in each other, the price has to be right.
New England can’t afford to go out into the free agent market and hand out large chunks of change—the contracts need to be wisely handed out.
With Woodson having one or two years left in the tank, as he played in just seven games this past season due to a broken collarbone, the veteran safety should come at a bargain.
If the money is reasonable and if Woodson is in good shape, then I’d have to say that the value most definitely out-weighs the money in this situation and that Belichick would entertain the idea of bringing in the former Green Bay Packer.