Woodson gone – another veteran leaving

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Read here. First Driver, now apparently Charles Woodson. It seems sure that Woodson will be released. On paper, his release makes some sense. He has been injured often in recent years and he was set to count $10 mil against the cap this coming year. He’s also 36 and slower and not as quick as he once was. And, there is some young talent that may need spots to open up so they can get their opportunities.

But where this may hurt the most is his presence. Woodson is a leader – a credible leader young guys respect. He is a true professional dedicated to his craft and he has been an absolutely stellar role model for younger players ever since joining the Packer family. Veteran “presence” is an intangible benefit that is difficult to quantify but his departure will leave a leadership void in the secondary. Even when he was injured over the past few years, he was around and maintained his “presence”. Tramon Williams suddenly becomes the “veteran” guy – and he’s coming off a 2nd consecutive questionable year. (Fortunately, Tramon has learned from Woodson how to lead via example etc, but I just don’t think he has the capacity to be the same kind of leader.)  Yes, Hayward and House being there make me feel a little better about the succession plan, but I still worry about the veteran leadership void on the defense.

Despite slowing down a bit, it’s hard to imagine Woodson not moving on to help a team somewhere given he’s just a couple years removed from one of the most impressive defensive seasons any DB has had in a long time.

In the end, these are really difficult decisions to make. I think TT’s strength (and sometimes weakness) is being able to make cold, calculated decisions about personnel. But this can be a weakness at times too because I believe his pro-youth bias has left a few of his teams lacking in the veteran leadership department – and this can be a missing factor for taking a team to another level (see Ray Lewis). In the end, if I were GM, I probably would have asked Woodson to take a substantial pay cut in an effort to keep him around for another year. But it sounds a little like Woodson may not have been willing to entertain this option – so I guess I may have cut him too.

As GM – what would you have done?

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8 Responses to “Woodson gone – another veteran leaving”

  1. Dave in Tucson Says:

    Yeah. Injuries, he’ll be 37 in October, $10M in salary cap, lots of up-and-coming talent in the secondary… “leader in the locker room” only gets you so far.

    Woodson has been one of my favorite Packers, almost since he came to GB. It’s tough to see him go, but especially from an on-field production point of view, it’s hard to make the case to keep him.

    D∈T

  2. RayMidge Says:

    Woodson has been such a fun football player to watch over these last few years. What i will miss about him the most is that when things might have been turning against the Pack that Charles was about make some sort of play, either physically, mentally or instinctively, that would tip the game back our way. It has been a privilige to watch him and I am glad his legacy around the league will always be as a great Packer and a champion.

    Thanks Charles!!!!

    That said, as a football decision, it is probably the right move. As you guys say above, DB depth is a strength of this team and Charles isn’t getting any younger. Hopefully TT will use the money to go get an impact LB or OL.

  3. DaveK Says:

    Rodgers, Matthews, and Raji and their pending contracts are huge factors in this decision as well. They just can’t afford to keep huge contracts for players that are not worth the money at positions in which the roster is deep with cheaper talent. Jennings doesn’t have a franchise tag because TT has acquired a talented stable of young WRs. Woodson won’t earn $10m given the talented younger DBs on the roster.

    It works both ways. Hawk probably sticks despite his big cap number and mediocre play because of the lack of depth at ILB. Finley might also stick not because TT thinks he is worth the cap number but because the roster is thin at TE. The draft might change that calculation for Finley and Hawk….and Crosby…and Pickett.

  4. 56coop Says:

    Heard today their thinking about franchise tag for Jennings

  5. 56coop Says:

    Look at the road schedule. This year will be signature schedule for the Pack. Are we real or not ?

  6. 56coop Says:

    Hated to read this:

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/hall-fame-quarterback-collapses-during-speech

    Sounds like he’s OK though.

  7. Schaefer Says:

    interesting viewpoint:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/53734/an-adjusted-view-of-mason-crosbys-career

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