The Green Bay Packers strayed from their draft-and-develop philosophy when they signed Charles Woodson as a veteran free agent in 2006. There was some risk, as Woodson was coming off a season-ending broken leg in 2005 and had significant injuries in 2004 and 2002. The slight gamble paid off as Woodson became the face of the defense (and the entire franchise to some degree) and was named NFL defensive player of the year in 2009.
Is general manager Ted Thompson willing to make a similar move with New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis?
First off, Woodson signed as a free agent. The Packerswould have to trade for Revis and the Jets are looking for a first-round pick and more. Thompson covets draft picks like Avon Barksdale did his corners. That's the first of several obstacles that include re-signing Revis to an expensive, long-term deal. And the Packers already have Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji up for extensions in the near future. Admittedly, there's a leap of faith that the Packers could make the scenario work.
Woodson added a dynamic to the defense that wasn't previously there. He blanketed receivers, forced fumbles at an alarming rate and was one of the league's best blitzers. Woodson was a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Dom Capers' 3-4 system.
Revis was the league's top cover corner before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in September. Assuming he returns to form, Revis would instantly lock down half the field. He and Tramon Williams would be as talented as any cornerback tandem in the league. That would take pressure off their young safeties and allow Capers to be more aggressive and creative with the front-seven.
Woodson's time in Green Bay might be done considering his play has slipped at 36 years old and he's owed $10 million in 2013. The defense could use another dynamic playmaker, and Revis certainly fits that mold. Oh, and they tackle on Revis Island. The Packers don't need another defender with tackling issues.
The window of opportunity to win a Super Bowl can open and close quickly. The Packers are in the midst of one, but the defense has been the weak link the last two seasons. Revis immediately upgrades whatever defense he plays for in 2013.