The Charles Woodson era in Green Bay is coming to a close, as the Packers have decided to part ways with the veteran defensive back this offseason, according to an announcement from the team's official website.
Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, offered up the following (via ESPN.com):
It's part of the business. I just talked to him. He sounds like he has a lot of football left. He'd like to play for a contender, win another Super Bowl.
With the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year now seeking a new club to star for in 2013, let's take a look at three contenders that could use his services next season.
New England Patriots
There's been a lot of talk recently that the New England Patriots should go after free-agent safety Ed Reed this offseason, but with Woodson seemingly set to become available, why not pursue both veterans?
New England's shortcomings in the secondary have been well-documented over the past few seasons and it ranked just 29th in the NFL this past season in terms of passing yards allowed (271 per game). The Pats also finished tied for 21st in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (27).
Although he's not going to impact every play like he did in his prime, adding a brilliant football mind like Woodson would provide a tremendous boost to Bill Belichick's defense in 2013.
If the Pats fail to pick up Reed, Woodson is a solid second option.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints' defense didn't just rank dead last in the NFL last season, it was the worst of all time, surrendering more yards than any other defense in NFL history.
New Orleans gave up over 7,000 total yards through 16 regular-season games. Nearly 4,700 of those yards came through the air, where the Saints' secondary was consistently burned for big play after big play.
Woodson is no longer a shutdown cornerback, but he can still anchor a defense at safety, which he did for the Packers in 2012. Although his cover skills have diminished with age, his ball skills remain unrivaled and there's no doubt that Sean Payton's Saints could use them this coming season in the Big Easy.
After all, New Orleans' defense can't be any worse with Woodson on board.
Only the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints gave up as many touchdowns through the air as the Washington Redskins in 2012. But despite the Redskins' poor play in the secondary, they were able to do enough offensively to win the NFC East division for the first time since 1999.
Still, unless the front office addresses the holes in the secondary this offseason, a repeat division title will be laborious.
In Woodson, the Redskins would be acquiring a sure-tackling defensive back who is able to step up and prevent the big play in the passing game. Washington was burned on far too many occasions this past season, giving up long touchdown passes early on in the year (the most notable one coming in Week 7 vs. the New York Giants).
Like New England and New Orleans, Washington is expected to be in the hunt for the playoffs in 2013 and picking up a veteran stud in Charles Woodson would ensure that the Redskins are competing for the Lombardi Trophy next January.
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