Charles Woodson's career is in a much different place than the last time he was a free agent in 2006. Back then, he wanted to revive a career that wasn't quite living up to potential.
Now Woodson, 36, is looking for one more chance to get a ring.
Woodson was wildly overpaid by the Green Bay Packers, so the release comes as no surprise. But he's not done as a player. Woodson's agent told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that Woodson wants to play for a contender. He should still have options.
One personnel executive told NFL.com's Albert Breer that Woodson is "in some decline but still has enough to compete to start in 2013. ... Still quick and instinctive."
That sounds right. Woodson might no longer be an every-down player, but he could help a team as a slot cornerback and/or safety. His leadership and knowledge could be a nice addition to a contender, as long as Woodson isn't expecting to get paid as a star anymore. His diminshed speed was noticeable in the playoffs, and he was out of place in run support against the San Francisco 49ers.
Woodson has earned enough money in his career. Now he'd surely love to chase another ring, which could burnish his solid Hall of Fame credentials. Here are teams that could be fits for Woodson:
New England Patriots: Yeah, Bill Belichick has been known to sign an intelligent, versatile veteran player at the end of his career. Woodson could help Tavon Wilson, who might be slated to start opposite Devin McCourty. This one almost makes too much sense to happen.
Houston Texans: The AFC South champs have four free agents at cornerback and safety, including starting free safety Glover Quin. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is good at coming up with plans that play toward players' strengths.
Minnesota Vikings: This wouldn't be on the level of Brett Favre heading to a bitter rival, but it would be weird. The Vikings have a need for help in the secondary because they don't really have a starter in place opposite Harrison Smith at safety.
Seattle Seahawks: I wouldn't have thought of this one on my own; the Seahawks are pretty well stocked. But Richard Sherman invited Woodson to come to Seattle on Twitter (and on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," airing Friday night), so who am I to argue?
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