As soon as it was announced that Charles Woodson would be released from the Packers the major NFL media outlets unleashed their gaggle of talking heads upon us, speculating where Woodson may end up. Now that a brief mourning period has passed, it is a good time for us to jump in the ring as well and look at some potential landing spots for the Packer legend. There are three big things that should determine where Woodson ends up: how close the team is to winning a Super Bowl, how much money he will be paid, and how much opportunity he has to play on Sundays. Keeping those things in mind, here’s a breakdown of some potential landing spots either highlighted by a national outlet or a place from one of the staffers here at APC:
The New England Patriots – Everyone is going to bring up the Pats because this is the sort of move the Belichick and company are known for. Get an aging veteran looking to win one more championship and has a high football IQ. They are a contender, they have some big needs in the secondary, but I’m not sure how much they would be willing to pay Sir Charles. The last part of this tried and true Patriot strategy is to get the vet on the cheap and I’m not totally convinced that Woodson will come at a bottom basement price.
The Houston Texans – Unlike the NFC, the AFC looks to be dominated by a handful of teams right now. As a result the easiest way to get to the Super Bowl is to hop on to one of those teams. The Texans have the look of one of those contenders. They have a great defensive coordinator running an opportunistic 3-4 system like the Packers. Woodson could also fit a need with the Texans having four potential free agents in the secondary this year.
The Washington Redskins – The Skins love to sign big name veterans and may actually be a contender depending on the health of Robert Griffen III. The Skins also face a need at safety with Madieu Williams hitting the free agent market this year.
The Seattle Seahawks – This one is interesting because the Seahawks don’t have a need at safety, but do have many connections to Woodson. There is the John Schneider connection. Woodson’s agent is the brother of Richard Sherman’s agent….and Sherman has been petitioning for Woodson to land in Seattle.
The Detroit Lions – There are a couple big reasons why this will probably not happen, the Lions are cap strapped right now and probably will not be contenders for the next couple years being the biggest, but something just feels right about this particular destination for Woodson. The Lions need secondary help badly. They need defenders who can make plays and turnovers happen even more. Most of all they need leadership, especially on defense. Throw in the fact that this would be a huge publicity lift for the Lions with one of the all time great Michigan Wolverines finishing his career there and it is irresponsible of me not to at least mention the Lions as potential suitors. One last word on this one, before you write off the Lions also keep in mind that Martin Mayhew has sworn that the Lions will be "players" in free agency this year. Could you think of a bigger splash for the Lions than signing Woodson?
The Atlanta Falcons – The NFC looks to be a pretty competitive place, but the Falcons are uniquely positioned to make a good run in 2013. What the Falcons could always use though is help in the secondary. Woodson would bring a veteran presence and would be ready to go for a team looking to win now.
Woodson is not the same player that he was back in 2009 when he won the Defensive MVP, but he still can be a star in this league and should be one of the more attractive free agents on the market. It’s tough to say good bye to the man, but it should be interesting to see where he finds a home over the next couple months.