The Green Bay Packers released veteran cornerback and defensive leader Charles Woodson yesterday, and New England Patriots fans are already wondering if Woodson could fit with the Patriots secondary. Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington are both set to hit free agency, and there are a few fans who wonder if a guy like Woodson could help gives this team needed veteran leadership in the secondary, as well as a quality corner.
According to ESPN’s top reporter Ed Werder on NFL Live, Woodson would likely try to sign on with a contender; he named the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos as two teams Woodson could look to sign with. Woodson’s future on the team was uncertain after speculation in January, and after not hearing from the Pack he was released yesterday. It’s tough to see a veteran part ways with a team he has starred for, but the 36-year-old and the Packers knew it was time to move on.
Woodson isn’t what he used to be, but he still has plenty of value as a solid coverage corner. Best fit as a nickel guy, Woodson is still a very good run defender (that valuable skill to the Patriots organization in a CB has not deteriorated due to old age) but the Packers did overrated his pass rushing ability a bit. Even so, Woodson can still help blitz as a nickel guy, even if I prefer Kyle Arrington in run defense and as a pass rusher.
It all comes down to cost, because it’s pretty much a guarantee that Woodson is going to be more expensive than Arrington; if the Pats choose to replace their slot corner. Arrington is actually solid in the slot and will come cheap, but Woodson is a better player overall (even at 36). Woodson also brings veteran leadership, but again, the most important thing here is cost.
It’s a possible that the Patriots sign Woodson to the team, but I just don’t see it happening. I think the Pats need to focus on their cornerback situation outside the numbers, because, as we all know, Aqib Talib is slated to hit free agency and will likely look for a significant contract. Whether or not the Patriots value him as much as another team might remains to be seen, but I would rather focus on negotiating with Talib and taking a long look at better CBs who are best fit on the outside (Brent Grimes and Chris Houston are two names that come to mind).
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