Charles Woodson cut in Green Bay, which aging safety should Patriots sign?
Charles Woodson is 36 and while he's just been released by the Green Bay Packers, it doesn't sound like he plans on retiring.
Is Charles Woodson retiring now that he's cut? "I just talked to him. He sounds like he has a lot of football left" -- agent Carl Poston
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2013
The big name being made available on the market will obviously have a lot of Patriots' fans eyes lighting up. A veteran with a proven resume, it could the be the type of player the Patriots need in that porous secondary. However, let's not get too excited.
Woodson played in just seven games of the 2012 season, after suffering a broken collarbone which cost him the rest of the season. He was not playing very well before that either. Since the Packers Super Bowl run in 2010, Woodson's role has slowly been diminished in Green Bay while the pass defense struggled even more than the Patriots. In 2011, they were the only passing defense worse than the Patriots. This year, with Woodson missing significant time, they vaulted to 11th in the league.
Obviously, that's not all on Woodson but the point is the team that signs Woodson wouldn't be getting the hall of fame level player he's known for being. In theory anyway.
The other name of an aging safety that's been thrown around a lot as a potential target for the Patriots is Ed Reed. Something that makes a lot of sense except for the fact that Reed plays Free Saftey, which is also what McCourty plays.
The Patriots drafted one Tavon Wilson in the second round. While Wilson didn't exactly instill the most confidence in Patriots fans when he got his chance to start due to injury, there's still the potential he could make a big jump in year two. Really, a McCourty-Wilson pairing is the most realistic option you're looking at for the Patriots.
Yes with big Y2 jump “@tlazarowicz: do you think Wilson can be long term solution at SS? I'm not remotely convinced Gregory is the answer.”
— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) February 15, 2013
If Reed or Woodson could come over at a low cost, there's no doubt the Patriots would be interested. I'm not saying that these guys are washed up and not worth signing. However, I don't think they are going to vault to the top of the list of Bill Belichick's priorities as neither is the answer to completely fixing the Patriots defense some might be making them out to be.