I loved this story from Yahoo today:
Its very interesting to hear the story of GB offer and his reluctance to accept it. Probably the battle the Packers face quite a bit with the small town atmosphere. Hopefully stories like this get in the hands of some of the young FAs out there though so they can learn that its not so bad in GB.
A few things stood out to me...
We were the first team to come to the plate with an offer and from the sounds of it, the only one that came with a good offer for someone that had once played at his caliber. For someone coming off of two straight years under the franchise tag, we are lucky someone didn't come in even close to us cause he would have taken it I think.
He spent two months as an NFL orphan, holding out for something, anything better than Green Bay. All the while, his agent would shrug, and Woodson would stare at the ticker at the bottom of his television, cursing when his name was never mentioned amongst the best available free agents. Eight seasons into his NFL career, his Heisman Trophy, All-Pro credentials and reputation as a lethal shutdown specialist had been cast into the abyss. And that’s precisely where Woodson thought he was going when Green Bay was his one and only option.
For someone who is known for not playing the FA market, Woodson was a risky move (like his attempts to grab Moss on the cheap) that most other GMs were not willing to take...what did TT know that the others didn't.
I didn't see one mention about Woodson forcing his way out of Oakland...though it was clear Oakland was no longer interested. Clearly his injuries were a major factor in this and the general consensus was that his skills were rapidly declining. According to one AFC exec:
"For what he was early in his career, his performance wasn’t what you expect from someone in his prime. He looked like a declining player,"
Seems like this atmosphere in GB is good for guys that are struggling with the party scene...its almost like being sent to rehab! haha Clearly though the city still doesn't have a good reputation with players though which might be a bigger obstacle to us getting good FA than our FA-hesitant GM!
"It was tough to watch," said Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha(notes), who remains one of Woodson’s closest friends in the game. "… I’m not gonna lie. Green Bay was a head-scratcher. The amount of money he signed for [$52 million over seven years], you thought ‘Oh good, at least he’s well-compensated.’ But then you thought ‘Green Bay? This doesn’t even fit Charles’ personality. It doesn’t seem like a place where he can be himself.’
This article also gives the impression that Woodson was actually really happy to learn of the shift to the 3-4...amidst all the reports of players not being excited, its good to hear that one of them saw the potential. Clearly this system is a perfect fit for Woodson...I wish we had him in it much earlier.