The Green Bay Packers parted ways with star safety Charles Woodson on Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 15, at 4:27 p.m. ET by Patrick Clarke
The Green Bay Packers' Ted Thompson, who holds several front office positions with the team including general manager, had nothing but kind words for Charles Woodson on Friday after announcing the team's decision to part ways with the veteran defensive back (via Packers.com):
We are grateful for all that Charles has given to the Green Bay Packers over the past seven years. 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.
The 36-year-old Woodson played seven seasons with Green Bay from 2006 to 2012.
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UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 15, at 4:15 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Adam Caplan confirmed the news on Twitter, stating that Green Bay made the news official to the public:
Packers announced the release of S Charles Woodson.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 15, 2013
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Carl Poston, Charles Woodson's agent, tells me: "They're getting ready to release him. It's part of the business."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2013
Woodson spent the past seven seasons with the Packers after starting his career with the Oakland Raiders. His stay in Green Bay included a Super Bowl championship in 2011 and being named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
The Twitter account for Charles Woodson's winery posted a message of appreciation for Green Bay following the decision.
Thank you Green Bay it was a great run! twitter.com/TwentyFourWine…— Rick Ruiz (@TwentyFourWines) February 15, 2013
Woodson appeared in 100 regular-season games for the Packers. He registered 465 total tackles, 38 interceptions and 11.5 sacks during that time, helping establish himself as one of the game's most dominant defensive players.
He appeared in just seven games in his final season with the team due to a collarbone injury. At 36, he also lost a step in recent years, lacking the first-step burst he once possessed. It led to more playing time at safety.
Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, told Rapoport his client is hoping to catch on with a Super Bowl contender for next season.
Released DB Charles Woodson's agent Carl Poston: "He'd like to go play for a contender, win another Super Bowl. He caught that bug."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2013
It will likely take some time to see what type of market develops for the veteran. His experience and track record would make him seem like a good fit for a team looking for some depth in the defensive backfield. But, as always, a lot will depend on money.
There's no doubt Woodson can still help a defense in some fashion; whatever team signs him just cannot expect the Michigan product to play at the level he did during his peak seasons. He's more of a complementary piece at this point and not worth the money that was left on the last two years of a five-year, $55 million extension he signed back in 2010.
That's likely the reason the Packers decided to let him go.