October 15, 2018, 04:13:23 PM

Author Topic: Woodson: Next to Reggie White, the Best Free Agent Signing Ever - By Bob Fox  (Read 2741 times)

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Offline LMG

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Green Bay Packers' GM Ted Thompson gets a lot of flack for his reluctance to dip his toes into free agency, but in 2006, Thompson hit the jackpot when he signed defensive back Charles Woodson. In the history of free agency, the Green Bay Packers have hit gold twice, once in 1993 when defensive end Reggie White was signed, and once with Woodson.
 
First, let us look at what White accomplished in Green Bay. White was All-Pro every year he played in Green Bay and was selected to the Pro Bowl in every one of the six seasons he was a Packer.



White helped make the 1996 Green Bay defense the best in the NFL. That Packer team won Super Bowl XXXI 35-21, a game in which White had 3 sacks, still a Super Bowl record. (The Packers' Willie Davis also had three sacks in Super Bowl II, but sacks were not counted for records then.)

 
White also helped the Packers get to Super Bowl XXXII. Green Bay lost that game 31-24, mostly because it was out-coached. White also had a positive impact on the recruitment of African-American players to Green Bay.
 

Finally, in White's last year in Green Bay (1998), he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

 
Woodson also had an excellent resume in his seven-year career in Green Bay. He picked off 38 passes, including nine for touchdowns. He also forced 15 fumbles and recovered six more, including one for a touchdown. Woodson also had 11.5 sacks as a Packer.


He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, when he had nine interceptions, including three that were returned for touchdowns. He also added two sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered a fumble that year.


In his career as a Packer, Woodson was named to four Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro twice. Like White, he also experienced the greatest honor anyone in the NFL can have: Hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the winner of a Super Bowl.


Even with all of those accomplishments, it was not surprising that on Friday the Packers released 36-year-old Woodson, as he had a hefty $10 million price tag on the 2013 salary cap. And he has physical issues: It was evident that Woodson has lost a step in the past couple of years, and he has broken the same collarbone twice in the last three years.


Woodson excelled in the slot corner position in the nickel-scheme that the Packers utilized quite often. However, after the second collarbone break caused him to miss nine games in 2012, rookie Casey Hayward played just as well, if not better, in that role.


In the base 3-4 look that the Packers employed, Woodson was the strong safety.


The Packers released a statement after they made the release of Woodson official.


“We are grateful for all that Charles has given to the Green Bay Packers over the past seven years,” Ted Thompson said. “He has been an integral part of the Packers’ success, and our Super Bowl title in 2010 would not have been possible without his contributions. A once-in-a-generation talent as a player, he is also a great leader and ambassador for the organization off the field. Charles will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We wish him and his family all the best.”


It's hard to say what will happen with Woodson in 2013, as it appears that he wants to continue his career. Is it possible that Woodson could return to the Packers with a new contract for much less pay? It's possible but not probable.


Bottom line, besides White, Woodson is the best free agency signing in the history of the Packers, if not the entire NFL. Add everything up. The stats, the awards, the winning, and mostly the ring.


While White was in Green Bay, the Packers went to the playoffs six times, won three division titles and won a Super Bowl.


While Woodson was in Green Bay, the Packers went to the playoffs five times, won three division titles and also won a Super Bowl.


Either way, expect to see Woodson's name on the facade at Lambeau Field at some point, next to all the other Packers who were enshrined to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


One of whom is Reggie White.


Bob Fox always had the itch to return to the media, and he became a writer at a Packer website called ThaPack for a couple of years, before he joined Packer Report, where he was for several years, before joining Wisconsin Sports Online (PackerChatters) writing about the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.  Bob also occasionally writes for JoeBucsFan.com which covers the Tampa Bay Bucs, and also used to write for JoeBoltsFan.com which covers the Tampa Bay Lightning when the site was operational.

Bob also has an article in the 2012 Green Bay Packers Yearbook that profiles the 2012 draft class for the Packers.

Bob is also a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report.
 
If you are not the lead dog the view never changes.

Offline Leader

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"While White was in Green Bay, the Packers went to the playoffs six times, won three division titles and won a Super Bowl. While Woodson was in Green Bay, the Packers went to the playoffs five times, won three division titles and also won a Super Bowl"

Maybe its time for the next round.........

Offline TAYLORBOY

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I agree with Fox but I also think the secret to Reggies success ::) was Ron's not relying solely on Reggie...

Wolf also signed Sean Jones to take some double teams from Reggie

Then Wolf signed Santana Dotson to form one of the best DL at the time

Online ricky

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Personally, I'd rank Woodson's signing as more daring, by far, than the signing of White. Reggie was a known quantity. Woodson, on the other hand, was leaving Oakland as an injury prone, over-the-hill DB who was all name and no game. Woodson came to GB because, effectively, the Packers were the only team to make an offer on his services. White was highly sought after. Both played extremely well as Packers, obviously. These were quite simply the two best FA signings in Packers history.
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Offline B

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Personally, I'd rank Woodson's signing as more daring, by far, than the signing of White. Reggie was a known quantity. Woodson, on the other hand, was leaving Oakland as an injury prone, over-the-hill DB who was all name and no game. Woodson came to GB because, effectively, the Packers were the only team to make an offer on his services. White was highly sought after. Both played extremely well as Packers, obviously. These were quite simply the two best FA signings in Packers history.

 thumbsup)I agree ricky, the Woodson signing was more daring and surprising. We knew Wolf and Holmgren were after White, we just never expected them to be able to pull it off.

Green Bay and Tampa Bay were the only clubs willing to talk the numbers Woodson was looking for and leave him at CB. Many other teams were interested, but were talking moving him to safety and offering him far less money as a result.

Not surprising that SB rings followed both signings :)
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline Beagle

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I agree with Fox but I also think the secret to Reggies success ::) was Ron's not relying solely on Reggie...

Wolf also signed Sean Jones to take some double teams from Reggie

Then Wolf signed Santana Dotson to form one of the best DL at the time

Always thought he never got the full credit he deserved. He was the perfect book end to Reggie White. I sure wish he stayed around for 1 more year.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” -V. Lombardi

Offline Toddfather

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They really did have opposites roads to Green Bay, but in the end both helped us go on amazing runs that lead to titles. I can only hope we can be talking about another player that will contribute the way these two did. Two of the best FA signings ever, and definitely our best two.

Offline davekenya

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I also thought the signings of Eugene Robinson and Keith Jackson were key pieces to the SB XXXI run.

Besides on field accolades for both players, I'd mention locker room and team leadership.  It's hard to quantify the influence Wood has had on the development of all the DBs but it's been significant and positive.  His smarts, disciplined film study, quality character have no doubt made some of GB's okay DBs good and good ones even better.  Great role model on and off the field.

Wood was almost polite and professional on the field.  It will be interesting to see/watch if the backfield slowly develops a different personality in any way.  I think CW's one-pump handshake to a fellow DB after an interception is very cool....so anti-flamboyant and self-serving that it stands out and brings attention for it's simplicity and modesty!  Class act.