Packers Free Agency: Could Charles Woodson Return After the Draft?

Scott Boehm

Through his twitter account, former All-Pro safety LeRoy Butler has reported that the Green Bay Packers - along with four other teams - have interest in signing Charles Woodson sometime after the 2013 NFL Draft.

On Monday, former Green Bay Packers All-Pro Safety LeRoy Butler made a rather interesting statement about Green Bay's interest in Charles Woodson.

Now, far be it for me to call Butler a liar, but there isn't much about his report that makes sense.

At no time since Woodson's release have the Packers expressed any interest in the former Defensive Player of the Year. For proof, one doesn't need to look any farther than A.J. Hawk's contract renegotiation. Like Woodson, the Packers felt Hawk's salary was disproportional to his production. However, Hawk was given the chance to reduce his salary and remain with the team. Woodson was never extended the same opportunity. Furthermore, Packers GM Ted Thompson hasn't exactly been keen on adding old, oft-injured players.

As for Butler's contention that four other teams are vying for Woodson's services, that too seems unlikely. Woodson's only visit since being released was with San Francisco. He left without a contract, and the 49ers subsequently signed Nnamdi Asomugha, effectively ending Woodson's courtship.

All this suggests that Butler might have manufactured the whole report. While he certainly has contacts from both his 12 years in the NFL and his work at the Journal-Sentinel, it's doubtful Butler is privy to the inner workings of Thompson's front office. Most likely, Butler's just trying to help out a friend who's been on the street since February.

That said, if Woodson is still available after the draft he represents a potential value. By that time, any leverage Woodson might have had will be gone. This, combined with Woodson's preference for playing on a contending team, suggests that Green Bay won't have to pony up much cash to reacquire the defensive back. The Packers still need to figure out what they have in second year safety Jerron McMillian, but another year behind Woodson shouldn't impede his development.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.

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