Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive back Charles Woodson was released by the Green Bay Packers, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
The veteran's contract had a $9 million cap hit for the Packers in 2013, making the 36-year old a prime target for release. Woodson's agent told Rapoport that the veteran "has a lot of football left" and would like "to play for a contender."
Woodson made the announcement via his winery's Twitter account (2011 was his last solid vintage):
Thank you Green Bay it was a great run! twitter.com/TwentyFourWine…— Rick Ruiz (@TwentyFourWines) February 15, 2013
Woodson has had a pretty spectacular career, complete with multiple playoff trips and a Super Bowl ring. Woodson was originally drafted fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 1998 NFL Draft. The former Heisman winner from Michigan was a dynamo as soon as he entered the league.
Woodson has 55 career interceptions, which is good enough to tie for 19th in NFL history. It is also more than players like All-Pro Champ Bailey and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
It's been a pretty spectacular career for Woodson, who may decide to hang it up after this. At age 36, would he be willing to start over with a new team? And for how long? Since leaving Oakland, he has made a nice legacy for himself in Green Bay.
But given his competitive nature, it'd be hard to imagine his last game ever being the blowout against San Francisco. It does not seem appropriate that in his last game ever, his team gave up 40-plus points and was eliminated from the playoffs.
For this reason, Woodson could look to find a one-year deal elsewhere.
He also brings a very diverse skill set and is easily adaptable. During his playing career, Woodson has played cornerback, nickel and safety. Over his 15 years, the seven-time All-Pro and 2009 AP Defensive Player of the Year has been a serious impact player.
For any team looking to sign him, they know they're getting experience and God-given ability. When it comes to football, Woodson is a natural in every sense of the word. There are a number of contenders waiting to benefit from Woodson's ability if he continues to keep playing. Teams like New England, Houston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and even Washington could all use his services, either as a corner or safety.
And given what Randy Moss did with the 49ers in 2012, Woodson could look to play a similar role. Both first rounders in 1998, Woodson has the same prestige as Moss. He is an experienced and polished veteran that is coming to the end of his career but still has more to contribute.
Woodson can be a vocal leader and coach to the young players.
If he decides not to return to the game, it could be that he feels he's accomplished enough and is tired of getting banged up. Woodson was rushed heading into this year's playoffs, sidelined weeks before with a broken collarbone.
We'll see what happens, but for now, Charles Woodson is a very intriguing free agent.