Woodson’s Future Up In The Air?

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Charles Woodson

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson still played at a fairly high level in 2011, although his coverage skills clearly weren’t what they were three or four years ago.

Woodson finished with 74 tackles, seven interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble and a touchdown. He made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team All Pro. Despite all that, the Packers secondary was a liability. Certainly, that wasn’t primarily Woodson’s fault, but he no longer seems to be able to make up for the weaknesses around him and while he’s still a solid tackler, he’s definitely lost a step.

Although we think it’s absurd, there has been speculation the Packers could decide to release Woodson because of $5 million in bonuses he’s due this year. The cornerback is due a $4 million roster bonus in April and $1 million in in-season roster bonuses.

Overall, he’ll make $11.5 million. That’s definitely a huge check for a 35-year-old cornerback, but Woodson’s salary cap number will only increase slightly from last season — by $600,000, according to Tom Silverstein.

It seems ludicrous to think the Packers would cut their best defensive back. There’s been increasing speculation the team may consider moving Woodson to safety, especially if Nick Collins isn’t able to return from his neck injury.

The Packers have openly said they don’t want to make the move, but if Collins can’t return they clearly need a replacement for Charlie Peprah, who was the weakest starter in the secondary if not on the whole defense in 2011.

We see Woodson being able to fulfill a role much like LeRoy Butler did for the Packers in the 90s — a safety who can not only cover, but can blitz the quarterback and play close to the line to stop the run.

Any decision to move Woodson will likely come down to who the Packers acquire in the draft and if they decide to participate in free agency. We’d be happy to bet that the veteran will be on the team, though.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

17 Comments on "Woodson’s Future Up In The Air?"

  1. Vijay

    “We see Woodson being able to fulfill a role much like LeRoy Butler did for the Packers in the 90s — a safety who can not only cover, but can blitz the quarterback and play close to the line to stop the run.” – Brilliant

  2. Richard

    Might as well make him a SS or cut him. No point in leaving him deep in coverage anymore full-time if he’s gonna give up a desperation hail mary in the playoffs.

  3. Asimov

    It’s more about salary cap hit than overall money spent, unless you’re talking about big time roster bonuses ala Peyton Manning. Charles’ bonuses won’t keep him from playing as a Packer next year.

  4. Peter

    lets just hope nick can play and wood can stay in the slot

    ps all you who are dumping on every packer because they loss. Get over it! shit happens the team was great and they will be back next season with more fire in their bellies.

    • The Jesus

      Couldn’t agree more. You can’t make a multimillion dollar decision about a great player just because of one bad (and lucky) play.

      To everyone who’s calling for heads to roll because of this playoff loss: Go on a bender, unplug from the Packers for a few weeks, and then see how you feel. It makes no sense to piss away a great team because of one loss.

    • Go_Pack_Go from Seattle

      Agree. Packers didn’t show up. Certainly they are embarassed, but we have to look at all the stats and decide who to jetison – not just dis the whole team. If it is okay that our sack leader has 6 sacks and we sacked opposing QBS 29 times in 2011, then no worries – otherwise – GET MATTHEWS SOME FRICKING HELP!!!!!

  5. nurseratchett

    I wanted the Pack to move Wood to safety this year….I think he’d be a BEAST in that role. For a 35 year old CB thought he had a pretty decent year.

    2/3 of the earth is covered by water…..the rest is covered by Charles Woodson….

    • Shawn iltarion

      Woodson was the only Packer DB who was in the right position on the Hail Mary.

      Unfortunately for him and the Packers, Charlie Peprah, Sam Shields and Jarrett Bush were NOT where they were supposed to be.

      Nicks outjumping Woodson on one play doesn’t impugn him anymore than Steve Johnson scoring a couple TDs on Darrelle Revis impugns him.

      People overstate the overused “he’s lost a step” mantra. Woodson actually covered very well this season. Where he struggled was making tackles.

  6. Walter

    I used to think Marquand Manuel was the worst safety ever but that was before I saw Peprah play this season.

  7. robbie

    woodson was not where he was supposed to be…why would everyone be behind him in that situation? if woodson was in front of him it woulda been a incompleteion woodson was bad in coverage at most times this season they needed to move him to saftey but sam shields isnt ready to be a number 2 yet…

  8. robbie

    if you really want to know who to blame in this situation its very simple ted thompson….for letting cullen jenkins go who signed for a whopping 5 mil garranteed over 3 years in philly yet kept james jones who didnt make a single play for the pack all year…..shoulda kept cullen he made EVERyone on that defense better look at raji and mathews their numbers are WAY down mike neal is another injury plagued defensive lineman who will never make an impact for our team…wtf…

  9. robbie

    but my point was nobody can cover forever matthews and raji got double teamed and triple teamed every single snap this season so the the packers where never able to get pressure without blitzing add in the fact that bishop and hawk are problably the worst coverage lbers in the NFL there are bound to be problems..neways this team is 1 pass rusher away from being a dominate defense like a year ago, and i do trust TT to find that pass rusher and get him on this team idc if they have to let finley and driver go…they need a pass rusher and a replacment for woodson at CB because he should be a SS although that experiment didnt go well in oakland but aye wat does?

    • Go_Pack_Go from Seattle

      But… don’t agree here robbie. I do not trust TT to get us a good pass rusher, because an Aldon Smith comes along once everY 3-4 years and I don’t see the Pack moving up in the draft or TT going into FA anytime soon (but I really really really hope I am wrong.)

      Here are the stats

      From NFL.com

      Top Rookie Sack seasons

      14.5 Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999 – R1 Pick16

      13.0 Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis, 2002
      – R1 Pick11
      12.5 Leslie O’Neal, San Diego, 1986 R1 Pick8

      12.5 Simeon Rice, Arizona, 1996 – R1 Pick3

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