Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nobody in football, except Ted Thompson, thinks CB Charles Woodson can play cornerback anymore. Kansas City's head coach Herm Edwards was quoted earlier this offseason saying that he believes Woodson can only "if his mind is right." No team in the NFL pursued Woodson with the intention of playing him at cornerback.

There is a big $52 million figure attached to this contract, but it is likely that this is a big one year, $10.5 million contract with no guarantees after this season. Woodson's agent wouldn't discuss how much was guaranteed, which would seem to confirm that. The Packers have a lot of 2006 cap room to offer Woodson, and Woodson has no other suitors except Tampa Bay which wants him to play safety. Did the Packers have to pay him $10.5 million in any circumstance? Was any team in the NFL willing to pay anywhere near what Woodson played for ($10 million) in Oakland in 2005?

Where does Woodson play with the Packers? He is probably guaranteed a starting cornerback position. Signing another cornerback is not a bad idea. With Woodson starting, CB Ahmad Carroll is the 3rd cornerback, but he will be on the field in the nickel package at least 50% of the time. If Woodson can't play cornerback and is forced to play safety, then he would have to take the place of Thompson's prized free agent signing S Marquand Manuel. Maybe S Nick Collins would move to cornerback? Would any reporter ask Thompson to explain why the Packers might have two high priced mediocre safeties (Woodson and Manuel) one season after Thompson forced Pro Bowl S Darren Sharper to Minnesota over a relatively small paycut?

Woodson can definitely help with kick or punt returns, assuming he is healthy to play 16 games next season. He is a high priced talent (or maybe just high priced) who is better suited to play a different position because of frequent injuries over the past four seasons. He probably chose Green Bay because it was his only choice willing to pay him what he felt he deserved and play him at cornerback. He could help the team out next season, but there is a lot of risk that this will be a bust.

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